August 9, 2013
Hearing from musicians, both those who play for their living and those who play for enjoyment, tells me that they appreciate the talent and dedication of the Bee Gees. Here’s what Dennis had to say.
I was a pretty quiet kid in high school in 1989, and I was listening to the Bee Gees more than any other band, even though many other groups were in the forefront of music at that time. I loved the 70’s music, of course, but I was into E.S.P. and ONE because I thought they wrote with such creativity and variety, and I wanted to write like that. I liked Maurice and Robin’s attitudes. They didn’t seem ego-centric or crazy like so many other showy, in-your-face groups that were all PR hype and not true to their music. Barry was such a leader and a force to be reckoned with because he’s an unbelievable songwriter and a determined perfectionist of a man. There’s a big difference between wonderful songwriters who arrange and produce and perform and a group of guys just playing in a band selling a product. As I was growing up, I was a laid back guy. I did have friends, but I wasn’t a big talker or an extrovert. I played bass in high school with our rock combo, my passion since I was 11, but I wasn’t the “cool” guy or the flirt who was the “rocker”. My high school life was my guitar music and the Bee Gees, but I was low key. When I went to college in Chicago, I was shy and scared. Having the music saved me from being a loner. It wasn’t long before I made friends in the music department and found fellow Bee Gee lovers who shared the passion for what Barry, Robin and Maurice had created in the past and the new music they were performing. They were always a topic of conversation no matter what kind of music we were playing. Luckily for us, they wrote “High Civilzation” and “Size Isn’t Everything” to talk about and play during my college years. They motivated me to work hard and start writing music. I thought they were so gutsy and strong to keep at it no matter what was going on. They had lost Andy and their father, but they didn’t stop writing. Their talent was undeniable. To this day, I play every day. I perform with a group of buddies, and we jam and play for local events. We play Bee Gees music that dates back to the late 60’s and a medley that includes “How Deep Is Your Love”, “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” and “To Love Somebody”, brilliant classics, if you ask me. Sometimes I sit and listen to them sing and wonder, “How did they come up with that sound, that chorus, that bridge?” Amazing! The Bee Gees were my strongest influence as a kid and as an adult musician. I respect them, especially when I sit and try to write my own songs. There are probably thousands of musicians out there who were inspired by them, and we’re damn lucky to have had their music in our lives. Damn lucky. The effect they’ve had on the world of music is undeniable, and their influence on other famous performers and writers is monumental. They affected everyone from Michael Jackson to Barbra Streisand, the best of the best. They set the bar so high, and it’s impossible to reach. No one compares.