Born to Sing

An Australian Point of View #2 Redcliffe

There’s a lot to like about Redcliffe. This seaside suburb on Brisbane’s northern outskirts has a broad esplanade overlooking the calm waters of Moreton Bay. Redcliffe Jetty, the third to be built on the site, has heritage features copied from its forebears. There are plenty of cafes where cake and coffee can be enjoyed with an ocean view, but there’s no big city hustle and bustle to contend with.

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Perhaps this is what attracted Hugh and Barbara Gibb to the area when they emigrated from England with their young family in 1958. Three of their boys, talented musicians from an early age, formed a band to make pocket money and, in 1960 at the ages of 12 and 9, they were regular performers at interval during the Redcliffe Speedway. The boys were allowed to keep the money the enthusiastic crowd would throw onto the track.

Little did those people know they were witnessing the birth of one of the greatest musical acts of the 20th century, with eventual worldwide sales of more than 220 million records. After those early shows Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb went on to become The Bee Gees.

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Bee Gees Way, a 70 metre walkway on Redcliffe Parade, documents the amazing career of the brothers who called Redcliffe home. It celebrates their music with photos and video footage played on a large screen.

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Visitors are serenaded by the music of the Bee Gees as they view the group’s first recording contract, signed by their parents because they were underage.

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Two statues pay homage to the brothers, first as barefoot boys singing at the speedway, and then as a supergroup of the 70s and 80s.

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Barry Gibb opened the walkway on 14 February, 2013 and visited again on 9 September, 2015. Perhaps the last plaque on the walk echoes his thoughts about the walkway dedicated to the story of the Bee Gees.

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47 thoughts on “Born to Sing

    • Thank you, Jo. I was in high school when Saturday Night Fever and Grease came out and that’s when I discovered their music. I was so cross because I wasn’t allowed to go and see Saturday Night Fever at the cinema. It had an R rating. It’s probably tame by today’s standards. I love their music now.

  1. You are up early today – or you had your post booked to go early! I’m still a Bee Gee’s fan and this is the first time I have ever seen anything about the town they called home in Australia. I’d have fun visiting there! It’s a shame we lost Maurice and Robin so early, they were making good music early this century!

  2. The Bee Gees Way looks like a great place to visit, Carol. I loved their early music: ‘Massachusetts’ and ‘New York Mining Disaster’. That’s going back a long way, isn’t it!

  3. When I was young it was very infra dig to like the Bee Gees. It had to be Jethro Tull or Pink Floyd. Yes or Led Zep. Now I listen to them with find memories, not so much of the music but the relatively carefree days and happy hours before real life and work took over completely. I have never seen Saturday Night Fever. 😱

  4. I’m so embarrassed, because I had to look up the music of the Bee Gees and found several songs that I loved. What a legendary band, and I didn’t even know I had been singing along to their songs!

  5. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : A Tall Ships Treat | restlessjo

  6. As a Brisbane couple who lived on the northside (but haven’t been back to Redcliffe in 5 years as we live in America now) this is great. I remember as a child the bulldozing of the original island area they lived on to make way for the current Brisbane Airport runways. Their music is immortal – now the closest we get is Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – where Stayin Alive is set.

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