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Barry Gibb: ‘I pray for music to come back in a more romantic way’

Have you ever lost faith in anything? No, I’ve always believed in destiny.

What about people? Have you ever lost faith in anyone? Well, I’ve never met a man who I could have total trust in. That’s just something we all deal with. Being in a pop group, and being brothers, there was always someone ready to destroy those dynamics for their own sake. So yeah, I’ve seen a lot of that.

I imagine the music industry can be a viper’s nest. “Viper’s nest” is the right term! [Laughs] You just do the best you can with every chance you get. If those opportunities don’t come your way, then that’s destiny telling you you’re on the wrong path.

What do you think happens after we die? Who knows. I believe it’s a better place. I have a feeling that we’re not here for no reason.

Complete the sentence for me, Barry. Other people go to church. I … … stay home! [Laughs] Because I’m in lockdown [in Miami]. So I don’t go to church. Do I pray? Yes, I do.

What do you pray for? The health of my family, my kids and my grandkids. And I pray for music to come back in a more romantic way.

POLITICS

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You’ve lived between the US, the UK and Australia. You’re in the US now. Do you vote there?
Our country is in such chaos. We’ve all lost that commonsense; the unity and agreement between us. I voted by mail, the first time I’ve ever voted [in the US]. Really, in America, it was essential for people to vote – or about as many as possible.

Now the election is over, are you hopeful or fearful? I’m always hopeful. I don’t think these past four years have worked out well. I don’t like seeing people who have lost their businesses and can’t get them back because no one’s doing anything about it.

Is it right for me to assume you voted for Joe Biden? Oh, I prefer not to discuss that.

Okay, what were the issues that you voted on? I didn’t vote on issues. I voted for whoever I thought should be the next president, who I thought was most qualified.

Now you are technically Sir Barry Gibb. Yes, sir.

So does that mean you’re a fan of the monarchy and the British system? Yeah, I love the royal family. Prince Charles, in particular. He’s always been very kind and affectionate towards me when we’ve met, which has been two or three times over the years. I think it’s great for a country to have one family to look up to and to emulate. You know, I can’t fault it. I love them.

You’ve combined work and family in your career. What’s your advice for other people combining work and family, in how to navigate family politics? Every family is different, so I can’t recommend anything except: never allow arguments in your house, and never allow people to raise their voices. If you want to fight and argue, go outside. I like my house to be quiet and peaceful. Apart from Netflix. [Laughs]

If you love the royal family, I assume you’re going to watch the latest season of The Crown?
Oh, I can’t wait.

MONEY

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You’re the second most successful songwriter in history, behind Paul McCartney. Yeah!

Which begs the question, how rich are you? [Chuckles] Well, I’ve been asked that a few times, and there’s no answer. First of all, you’ll never know how many records you’ve ever sold. It’s never something you’re privy to as a recording artist. But I figured out my own philosophy: I don’t care about money. Of course you’ve got to have it but I don’t make it an obsession. All I want is a television, a bed and at least one major meal a day.

What’s the most expensive thing you own? The home I live in now [in Miami]. And the home we have in England [in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire], which is magnificent.

What about besides property? Oh, no, I can’t get into that … It’s crazy. [Laughs]

What can’t money buy? For me, spirituality. A sense of caring about everyone in your family and dealing with that. You can’t buy that. And money can’t buy you love. There’s a lot of things money can’t buy. I know a few extremely wealthy people, well beyond anything I could imagine. And I don’t always see those people being happy. You could be a billionaire, but not be a happy billionaire.

Are you a happy millionaire or billionaire? [Laughs] I’m happy.

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart documentary is in cinemas this month. Barry’s new album Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1, is out in January and features Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, Olivia Newton-John and Gillian Welch.

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