Episode 248: The Brothers Gibb Smile Train auction winner Josh Fitzgerald takes over the show this week by choosing Christy as his Co-Host and pushing Pat into the Producer's seat. Josh's topic of choice is the music of the Bee Gees so hang up your disco ball and practice your high falsetto for this hit filled episode! From April 14, 2016
With your hosts:
Pat Francis (In the Producer's Chair)
Josh Fitzgerald, Christy, and Producer Pat welcome us to the show. Wait, whaaaaaaaat????? That's right, Josh donated to Smile Train as part of Pardcast-a-Thon 2016 and as a result of his generous giving, he got to host an episode of Rock Solid with a co-host of his choice. He picked Christy, suggested an episode about the Bee Gees, and the rest is history. Christy loves Kyle, but Christy is happy as a clam that she doesn't have to watch this young punk's eyes glaze over. How did Josh discover Rock Solid? He just sort of landed on it while looking for a music podcast, the lucky duck. Christy is surprised that Josh is 31-years-old, yet loves the Bee Gees. As Josh puts it, "I'm a 70-year-old woman in the body of a 30-year-old who looks like he's 16."
Josh donated over six hundred dollars to Smile Train, which means that two very lucky children born with cleft palates get to have surgeries to get them fixed. Pat, Jimmy, and Matt went to Mexico to meet those kids and watch the surgeries, and he knows firsthand how helpful Josh's donation is to those kids and their families. Round of applause for Josh. When he won, Josh made a list of episode ideas and the co-hosts that he would host them with. A Smiths episode with April, an instrumental episode with Murray, a Kinks episode with Mike, or a prog rock episode with Pat. But he settled on Christy because she is wonderful. "Oh thank you," says Christy. "You've changed a third life today." Pat, meanwhile, HAS A FAN LETTER! Matthew from Iowa thanks Pat and the gang for the free CD and for producing a great podcast. Okay, back to Josh. He flew in from Buffalo to see family for Easter and to record the podcast. They're recording on March 31st, which is actually Christy and her husband Gary's 9th wedding anniversary! Congrats!
Any celebratory plans? "Eh, we went skiing a while back." Alright then. Now, THE BEE GEES. They're a top five band for Josh. Others? Beatles, Yes (yeah!), ABBA, and The Kinks. It should be obvious that this is an all Bee Gees show. Christy loves them so much. She says there's something undeniable about a good melody. The three Gibbs: Barry, Maurice, and Robin. Barry is the oldest and the only one still kicking. Even the youngest, Andy, is dead. Christy and Josh are both going chronologically.
Josh kicks us off with a song off the first Bee Gees album The Bee Gees Sing and and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs. The song is called "Wine and Women". Barry was 15. Maurice and Robin were 13. Holy smokes, they were young. Christy brings up a rare Bee Gees documentary called Keppel Road.
Christy's first pick is off the album Bee Gees' 1st. The song is "I Can't See Nobody". Hoo boy, Robin's voice is... interesting. I had a hard time trying to describe it until Christy called Robin's voice "goaty." Yup, that about does it.
Pat likes when bands have different sounds as their career progresses. Josh doesn't think of the Bee Gees as innovators, but as perfecters. Josh's next pick is a live version of a song called "Morning of My Life" off the album Melody. Christy brings up the documentary again and how there is a lot of missing footage.
Christy's next pick is also off of Bee Gees' 1st. It's the song "To Love Somebody", which was originally written for Otis Redding before he died.
The conversation turns to the various hairlines of the Brothers Gibb. Maurice and Robin sure did love their hats and wigs. Josh's then plays the Bee Gees' first hit, "Spicks and Specks" from the album Spicks and Specks.
Pat makes the big mistake of bringing up Vinyl, which sets off Christy. She still hates it, and she's frustrated because the people involved are so good. And it's very strange to watch Ray Romano snort cocaine and have sex with hookers. Josh manages to turn Christy's frown upside down when he mentions how much he loves Everyone's Crazy but Us. Christy's joy translates into her introduction of her next pick, "Massachusetts" off the album Horizontal.
Christy laments how she's never been to Massachusetts. Pat relates a story about how he and his wife Pilar were in Winchester, MA (her hometown) and how some random guy drove by and called Pat a "faggot" for no reason. Yup, welcome to Massachusetts. Josh then plays his next song, "Holiday" off of Bee Gees' 1st. Christy is amazed about how aware the Bee Gees were of their lives at such a young age. Christy also brought some videos. Here is Elvis Presley singing "Words."
Christy hates how Elvis never formally recorded it because Colonel Tom Parker would have taken all the publishing. ELVIS DETOUR! When Elvis would go on radio shows, there would be a code that told the audience that Elvis was white. This brings up the topic of white artists appropriating black music, something that Elvis and the Bee Gees were both guilty of. Christy doesn't think they were being evil, they just wanted to make that music their own. Josh takes us back to the Bee Gees with a groovy tune called "Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You" from the album Bee Gees' 1st.
Christy brings up a British movie called Melody that the Bee Gees did the soundtrack for. She saw the movie when she was a kid and was enamored with it. Love, wonder, Barry Gibb. It was all so much for young Christy. She plays a song called "Melody Fair" from the album Odessa.
"Who is the girl with the crying face?"
- Barry Gibb, singing the song
Pat jumps in! He's gonna play songs by the other brother, Andy Gibb. The youngest, and most handsome, of the Brothers Gibb.
Pat plays the Barry-penned hit "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" off the album Flowing Rivers. Pat, Josh, and Christy agree that songs back then were much more airy and melodic. And the Bee Gees are great songwriters, even if their names don't end in Lennon or McCartney. This leads to Beatles talk.
Why so serious? Josh plays "I Started a Joke" off the album Idea. Christy loves when Christian Bale sung it in The Fighter because it allowed her to connect.
Up next for Christy is a deep cut, "Sun in My Morning", found on the box set Tales from the Brothers Gibb: A History in Song. It's a country ballad, and Christy loves how in-tune these guys were with their emotions at such a young age. Pat wonders if it was because they had a rough childhood, but Christy and Josh disagree.
Josh's next pick is the oddly-titled "Lemons Never Forget", which is theorized as a jab at The Beatles. The song is off the album Horizontal.
Speaking of produce, Christy wants to talk about the album Cucumber Castle. The album only features Barry and Maurice because of tensions between Robin and Barry. Robin recorded an album, while Barry and Maurice did Cucumber Castle. Josh describes it as their Magical Mystery Tour, complete with a film. Christy plays a song called "If I Only Had My Mind on Something Else".
As someone who only knows the hits, Pat wonders which Bee Gees album to get to jump into the catalogue. Josh recommends Bee Gees' 1st or Idea. Josh backtracks a bit and plays the song that was partially responsible for Robin's departure, "Lamplight" off the album Odessa. Robin wanted it to be the first single off Odessa, but Barry's song "First of May" was picked instead, while "Lamplight" was put on as the B-side.
Christy plays another country ditty, a solo Barry tune called "I'll Kiss Your Memory" from Tales from the Brothers Gibb: A History in Song. Oh, what a fun episode. Wine is flowing, notebooks are out, cheese spreads are fully displayed. It's a good day.
Josh follows this with a technically-solo Maurice song, "On Time", also from Tales from the Brothers Gibb: A History in Song.
Barry's son Steve (a heavy metal musician) sang it a few years ago when Christy saw Barry at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago. She was the youngest person there. She had her wine and cheese too, of course. Christy was BAWLING for most of it. Barry's voice sounded good. Not amazing, but not mediocre. Again, she was BAWLING. Christy wipes away the tears in her memory and plays her next pick, "Lonely Days" off of 2 Years On, the 1970 reunion album between all three brothers. The song was their first number one in America.
Pat contests that the song only went to number three, but it was number one according to Cashbox. Josh's next pick has a title that does not appear in the lyrics. "Like 'Trampled Under Foot'," says Christy. "Or 'The Crunge'," responds Pat. "Grrrrr," says Christy. Reminder: She doesn't like "The Crunge." Josh plays "Portrait of Louise" off of 2 Years On. Pat brings up Barry and Barbra Streisand hugging on the cover of Streisand's Guilty album. Christy wanted Diedrich Bader and Janet Varney to recreate it for the webseries, along with Rumours, Make It Big, and Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.
Christy's next song is the big hit, "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" off the album Trafalgar. Christy loves how they can be masculine and heavy, but also sweet. This was the start of the second wave of their career. The gang wonders why Robin got back together with the brothers. "Their ma probably wanted them to get back together," says Pat.
Josh's next song is also off Trafalgar. It's a song called "Somebody Stop the Music".
The Bee Gees have a very big output: 22 studio albums, 83 singles. And by the time they put out Trafalgar, they weren't even 30. Christy decides to skip her next song so that Josh can showcase a song called "Paper Mache, Cabbages, and Kings" off the album To Whom It May Concern. It's a Robin song that absolutely confounds the fragile eggshell of Christy's mind. She is LITERALLY WEEPING!!! Words are failing her. And that song went to number 8 on the Danish charts.
Good god, we need a palate cleanser. Pat plays "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" by Andy off the album Flowing Rivers. Don't do drugs, kids. Cocaine took Andy away at too young an age. Very sad.
Christy takes the Bee Gees to America with an album called Main Course with producer Arif Mardin. This was when they were really crafting the Bee Gees sound that people know and love. She plays a song called "Nights on Broadway".
Before Main Course, the first album the Bee Gees did with Mardin called Mr. Natural.The song is called "Dogs".
Christy goes back to Main Course. She plays a song called "Wind of Change". This is quite a history lesson on the Bee Gees.
Josh decides to go full funk with the song "Boogie Child" off the album Children of the World. That is a funky brew if I've ever heard one. Christy says that the guys weren't trying to be disco, they were trying to be R&B.
Christy goes back to Main Course AGAIN with a love song called "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)". A young Christy couldn't believe that a person's name could be Fanny. Of course in England, fanny means the front-end of the business, while in America it's the back-end. Oh, what a fun dissection of cultures!
Pat brings back Andy with his song "Shadow Dancing" off the album Shadow Dancing. All four brothers wrote the song like it was nothing.
One more time, Christy goes to Main Course. She plays the big hit "Jive Talkin'". Christy loves it SO MUCH! "It's satisfying as a Snickers."
It was only a matter of time (TWO HOURS) before we got to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Josh plays the slower "How Deep Is Your Love". Christy and Gary danced to that song at their wedding. Awwwwwwwwwwww. Christy chose it because it's fun and kitschy, but also sweet and tender. Christy remembers the phenomenon of Saturday Night Fever. It hit multiple generations (even if it probably shouldn't have). Not a kids movie, folks. They did trim it down to a PG version, though.
Christy says it still holds up. As for the sequel Stayin' Alive... not so much. But Christy brings it back to SNF with the song "You Should Be Dancing". When Christy was taught baby CPR, you are supposed to do it to the beat of "Stayin' Alive." Consequently, that song has the same beat of "Another One Bites the Dust." Yeah, let's go with the first one.
Josh moves on from Saturday Night Fever and onto the follow-up album Spirits Having Flown. He plays the title track "Spirits (Having Flown)". Barry sings lead on every song, probably because the falsetto vocal was becoming a thing.
Christy has her own song from Spirits Having Flown called "Love You Inside Out". Hold on, Pat takes a phone call. Pat's daughter wants him to come home. I mean, we've been here for over TWO HOURS talking Bee Gees. Families have been affected, people!
After the anti-disco backlash (which elicits a moan from Christy), the band put out an album called Living Eyes. Josh plays a song called "Wildflower".
Christy's next pick is actually a song that the Bee Gees wrote, but gave to another artist to sing. It's "Emotion" by Samantha Sang off the album Emotion. Barry sings background vocals. Pat is amazed that they would give that song away, along with others, especially since that they were so big at the time.
Following a six-year hiatus after Living Eyes, the Bee Gees put out an album called E.S.P.. Josh plays the song "You Win Again". Very 80s production. Pat and Christy ruminate on the show topic of happy sounding songs, but very sad lyrics.
Christy's last song, you guys. She was obsessed with Bee Gees in the 90s because of the internet and its limitless possibilities. As Christy remembers it, "What, I can go on eBay and buy Billy Thorpe albums? What?" She even became a card-carrying member of Bee Gees Quarterly. Christy plays the song "I Surrender" off the album Still Waters. Oh. My. God.
Christy doesn't want this show to end, but it has to. All good things... Josh was excellent as a host. Thanks again to his donation to Smile Train. In total, Pardcast-a-Thon raised $181,000. Holy smokes. Thanks to Christy for bringing her love and knowledge of the Bee Gees to this shindig. You can find Josh on Twitter @joshsfitz61885.
Josh takes us out with the song "This Is Where I Came In" off the last Bee Gees album, This Is Where I Came In.