By Hans Ebert
It was when in my first school band that my best friend and band mate Steve had us learn a song called “New York Mining Disaster 1941.” Steve was always one step ahead of anyone else around us when it came to discovering new bands. And at a time when when it was considered “cool” to write songs with somewhat pretentious song titles, there we were learning this song about a mining disaster that wasn’t exactly your straight forward pop song which started with a minor chord and needed some Everley Brothers type harmonies. This, for the rest of us in the band, was our introduction to the Bee Gees- actually brothers Barry and the strangest looking twins in Robin and Maurice backed by two musicians who really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
The song was fine, but at a very image conscious time, the Bee Gees didn’t look cool enough. Too much teeth and really bad hair. One was even losing his hair.
The album cover to their first record was drab, and they weren’t from Swinging London. They were from Australia. And though a few hits by Australian bands passed the test- the Easybeats being one of them- their origins didn’t really help them being accepted by the cool kids.