'I'm In Defiance Of Time': Barry Gibb On Music, Family And Loss

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"Whatever the dream was about — becoming famous or becoming a big pop group or whatever those things are when you're a kid — it all happened," Barry Gibb says.

The Bee Gees need no introduction. They've sold more than 220 million albums. They're in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They've also written huge hits for a multitude of other stars, including Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

The band's one surviving member is Barry Gibb. His brothers and fellow Bee Gees, Maurice and Robin, died in 2003 and 2012, respectively.

Now, Gibb has a new solo album — his first in more than 30 years. It's called In The Now, and it's dedicated to his mother, who recently passed away. It's also about time — "trying to obliterate it and trying not to acknowledge that it exists at all," Gibb says. "We tend to follow a clock, and I think it's about the idea of pleasure and the idea of having fun. And really, I'm in defiance of time."

Gibb also dedicated a song on the album, "End Of The Rainbow," to his brother Robin, to whom he sang the song while Robin was in a coma towards the end of his life.

"I don't know if he heard me, honestly," Gibb says. "But I hope he did, and I hope he understood what I tried to tell him in the last few years, which was, 'It's okay, Rob, the dream came true.' Whatever the dream was about — becoming famous or becoming a big pop group or whatever those things are when you're a kid — it all happened."

Gibb says his relationship with his brothers was both loving and complicated. "I think that probably is the same as any big family," he says. He, Maurice and Robin had a fourth brother, Andy. All four wanted to become pop stars, a feat that Andy accomplished individually and the rest of the brothers accomplished together as the Bee Gees.

"There was a lot of conflict," Gibb says. "But I've got to really think that we were blessed, because we had to have loved each other very much. Otherwise, we couldn't have been together for 45 years."

Gibb shared these and other stories with NPR's Scott Simon. Hear the full interview at the audio link.

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