An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Whether You’re A Mother or Whether You’re a Brother

Maybe it’s because I only ate a rice krispie treat for lunch yesterday, or maybe it’s because of the stiff gin martini I pounded right before dinner — gulped from a proper martini glass, mind you, and not the usual styrofoam cup we’ve had to use to disguise our sin in front of Granny for the last five months — or maybe it’s because I’m just in a really weepy way, but I couldn’t have been more giddy to watch an episode of “American Idol” last night featuring songs by the Bee Gees.

Before you get all up in my business about the Bee Gees, you should know that my parents made sure that I knew who Barry, Robin and Maurice were before I came out of the womb. They were the only records my father owned, plus a couple here and there from Abba and the seminal Anne Murray. And while it would have been so much cooler had I grown up listening to The Stones or Zeppelin or anything featuring men who don’t sing like women, I can’t say that I have any hard feelings about my Bee Gees upbringing, or the resultant 20-yr crush I’ve had on skinny, bearded men.

My father’s favorite Bee Gees song was “Nights on Broadway,” and he used to set the needle specifically to that point in the record to serenade his Saturday afternoon chores. I can remember those afternoons distinctly, because I loved it when he blamed it all on the nights on Broadway, and because he usually did his chores dressed in nothing but plaid shorts, the top to his white Heavenly Underwear, and a pair of mid-calf black socks. My favorite part was when he’d drop whatever he was doing as the song got to the chorus, scrunch his forehead like he had been kicked in the groin and scream, “BLAMING IT ALL!” For years I couldn’t imagine the enormity of what must have happened on Broadway, something scandalous for sure, because they were blaming everything on that one road. And I couldn’t wait until I could grow up and blame it ALL on Broadway, too.

My sister took her Bee Gees upbringing VERY SERIOUSLY and has instilled in her own five children a love for everything Brothers Gibb. Her 5-yr old son knows every word to “Jive Talking,” and the twin 2-yr old boys go nuts when they hear the first notes of “Stayin’ Alive.” I don’t know whether this is frightening or precious, but if you knew my sister this would seem perfectly normal. Of course, it’s perfectly normal for the twin 2-yr old boys to take off their diapers and poop standing up in the middle of the living room.

I personally prefer the early Bee Gees, songs like “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You,” “I Started a Joke,” and “New York Mining Disaster 1941.” I like to think that this redeems me somewhat because I’m obviously keeping it real, appreciating their work before they went mainstream, even though I wasn’t alive when that happened. I do, however, have a soft spot in my heart for the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever which I played over and over in my car on the trip to and from high school. While other kids my age were listening to Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, I was blasting “How Deep is Your Love” and pining over imaginary relationships with men in white leisure suits.

Today I’m going to finish painting the back room, and instead of listening to the new CDs I bought yesterday in a storming hormonal freakout I’m going to dig out The Bee Gees Greatest Hits and a pair of black socks to get me cracking. Chuck should be barking in falsetto in no time.

  • shy

    “clay needs to trim his eyelashes.” ROTFL! that quote cracks me up every time!

  • Oh, and one more piece of far too much information – I, too, just went off the pill and there needs to be a SUPPORT GROUP for this. Or at least a forum. For God’s sake…nobody told me I’d be a hormonally-overcharged-procreationally obsessed nightmare.

  • Hell, at least yer folks didn’t raise you on The Cure and Love and Rockets like i did my kids…
    My daughter is 16 and is all kinds of broken (in the best of ways) from watching the Bubblemen cavort around on screen and still has a crush on Ropbert Smith even tho he is >Fat Bob” these days.
    Not to mention that i didn’t parade around in my “special undies” whilst cleaning the casa which would have fucked them up for real…..

  • J

    I wanted to buy BGs: The Best Of and husband (who used to be the best thing since sliced pepperoni) vetoed it! There we are in the record store and he was like “there is NO way I’m going to listen to that racket for the next 20 weeks” (I can get a little obsessive about music I like).
    I was so shocked I didn’t get it. Shocked that he was brave enough to say NO to me (the fool) and worse, that he didn’t LIKE them! FREAK!
    This coming from a guy who thinks Billy Joel rules.

    Needless to say, the divorce papers are in the mail.

  • My goodness, I never listened to garbage like that growing up. My parents never subjected me to anything that bad.

    The guy who grew up listening to the Carpenters, Lionel Richie, Barry Manilow and (gasp) Barbra Streisand.

    P.S. I wish I was making this up.

  • I’m partial to the older stuff, too, like “I Started a Joke”.

    And speaking of jokes … and American Idol … Clay doing “Grease” in that red jacket and doing that hip swing/sway thing … I’m still shuddering. (His first song, however, was brilliant.)

  • thanks to my lovely mother, i still can’t hear christopher cross without harkening back to the good old days of my young youth, tears in my eyes…

  • Sheila

    I always found the RSO logo captivating.

  • No Problem. We all have our guilty pleasures. Mine are Cheap Trick and Foghat.

  • zchamu

    i believe in you
    you know the dawn to a better sun
    you’re the light in my deepest, darkest doubt
    you’re my savior when i fall
    and you may not think i care for you
    when you know down inside that i really do
    and its me you need to show
    how deep is your love


  • I saw all the Bee Gees TOGETHER once walking down the street in NYC. It was my first visit there and I almost shit my pants! Turns out they had just opened the Bee Gees play on Broadway and they were there for the premiere.

  • Time to let them go, Zchamu. Just… let…them…go.

  • Damn. Now I’m going to have Staying Alive stuck in my head all day. I hate you. 😉

  • elpresidente

    Remember that one Simpsons episode, (the one with George Boosh) anyway homer jumps on a table and starts singing STAYIN’ ALIVE. I’ve felt the urge have you?

  • SB

    Listening to “Best of the BeeGees” as I type this – the classic with the yellow cover with all 4 of the Brothers on it – just came in the mail last week. Got my 12-year old daughter hooked on it, too – she listens to it over and over again, while her Pink and Avril CDs lie untouched. A new generation of fans!

  • kitschydi

    Only recently was I aware of the fall-out due to being a Bee Gees fan. Boy, does a chick get some flack for professing her committment to quite possibly the most distinguishable band around. Not to mention that Barry Gibb (who I’ve dubbed Patron Saint of Music) wrote one of the best tunes of all time, “Grease…” is the word, is the word, is the word….

  • uhhg…now my stomach hurts…It was all folk music and show tunes around our house.

    Still, the thought that I don’t have to have that image in my head of those ugly-cap-toothed-pimpshoed-cokespooned-white-belted-castrati’s, every time I remember cleaning the house as a child, brings me a small bit of little peace I guess.

  • mervis

    The emotional connection to the music I heard in my chilhood is strong enough to obliterate any aesthetic I currently believe in. But the Bee Gee’s were such solid, great pop. As solid as Michael Jackson 15 or 20 years ago.
    A friend of mine put on Off the Wall post party debauchery one night. Within about 30 seconds, the five of us were on our feet dancing with pure joy. I felt 10 again.

  • This brings back memories of sitting on the floor during P.E., in the first grade, waiting for our gym teacher Mr. Fabiano to finish his running his laps while the ENTIRE side 1 of the “Saturday Night Fever” album played.

    How deep is your love indeed!

  • Lex

    “SNF” soundtrack? Not so much. But “Massachusetts,” “Edge of the Universe,” “To Love Somebody,” “NY Mining Disaster 1941”? Great songs.

  • Amy

    Anne Murray put me on birth control. No, I’m not kidding. How’s that for traumatic? And I wonder why all my relationships are screwed up!

  • Dooce, you’re brilliant. That’s the closest anything seminal has ever been to Anne Murray. ;-P

    And I admit that as a kid I used to practice singing with one hand cupped to my ear like one of the BeeGee’s.

  • Wilbur

    If you think going off the pill is bad, don’t ever go on Paxil (unless you need to…). My wife went off the pill a few years ago with few problems, but weaning off Paxil has been a real trip. Frankly, I’d rather she stay on Paxil, as it has been a godsend for her. But, like many people with mental dysfunctions, she seems to think it’s indicative of weakness and wants to be unmedicated.

    As for AI, we were both hoping Ruben would sing “Fanny,” but he didn’t oblige. Now I’m hoping for a Neil Diamond week, and my wife wants Brian May to judge Queen songs. There, I said it! Yes! Neil Diamond!

  • I just arrived at my office in downtown Houston after a 30 minute drive with the Bee Gees blasting all the way. Tell me, “How Deep is Your Love?”

  • Dooce,

    I wish I was as lucky as you. I instead grew up listening to Salty the Sound Book, and I wasn’t allowed to listen to any “Secular” music…until I was 18. I, of course, have spent all the time I can trying to catch up on the 18 years of music I lost. On a side note, I was thinking about your blog about “warshing” which is my term my mother uses. She also talks about the pretty “flairs” (one syllable) in the garden. My grandmother, when asking for a kiss, says, “Gimme some sugar!” And finally, my Brother-in-Law and I are wondering how you pronounce Dooce. Yes reading Dooce is a family affair!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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