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The Bee Gees in my life

Written by Reg Henry on .

Many serious topics become the focus of newspaper editorials and this steady diet of meat and potatoes demands the occasional dessert. The New York Times served up such an item as its last editorial on Sunday under the rather-un-Times-like headline "Stayin' Alive."

For anyone of a certain age - and I, for one, am certain of my age - this was designed to make them feel older. It was, of course, a signature tune of the Bee Gees. As the editorial remarked, this year marks the pop group's 50th anniversary. Although one of the three Gibb brothers died in 2003, the group is still going strong. They are indeed "Stayin' Alive."

This takes me back five decades. By strange coincidence, when they were just starting out, I was there. At any early age, the three brothers - Barry, Robin and Maurice (the one who died) - emigrated from England to Brisbane, Australia, which was my home town.

Their earliest appearances were at BTQ Channel 7 in Brisbane, where my big brother Jim was the first art director and occasional floor manager. It was in that capacity that I saw my brother direct the cameras for the brothers Gibb on a children's program called the Cottee's Happy Hour (Cottee's was a soft drink manufacturer). They were regulars by this time, so I can't claim to have seen their first TV appearance live.

They looked very young and very English and, of course, I didn't know they would become superstars later. In fact, my general impression was that they were just a bunch of twits. While they were no more than 30 feet away, I never spoke to them.

I realize this brush-of-fame story has no point but it is my dessert offered to you. Life is a long road and many interesting people go by.

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