A STATUE and commemorative walkway have been unveiled to celebrate the career of Manx-born superstars the Bee Gees in Redcliffe, Australia.
The town, in the state of Queensland, was home to the trio after the Gibb family emigrated from Chorlton in Manchester in 1958.
And the area lays claim to being the place the group was discovered when DJ Bill Gates saw them perform in the back of a pick up truck at Redcliffe Speedway.
The only surviving member of the trio, Barry Gibb, was heavily involved in the project and took part in the official opening of the attraction, called Bee Gees Way, on Valentine’s Day (February 14).
Moreton Bay Region Mayor Allan Sutherland said thousands flocked to the water’s edge on the Redcliffe peninsula to welcome the superstar, who is currently on tour in Australia.
‘The band spawned five decades of hits worldwide, but Redcliffe is where it all started for the Bee Gees in 1958,’ the Mayor said. ‘It was on a kitchen table in Redcliffe that the Bee Gees signed their first recording deal after being discovered at the local speedway. So it was only fitting to recognise the Gibb brothers in very public way by erecting a life-size statue and naming a beachfront walkway in the Bee Gee’s honour.’
Speaking after the unveiling ceremony, Barry said: ‘I am thrilled with all of it. We collaborated. I wanted to keep it humorous. To keep it light and fun.
‘For me, the memories are vivid. There is a real story behind every picture.’
As he walked down Bee Gees Way with his family, Barry Gibb reflected on the lives of his late brothers Maurice, Robin and Andy.
‘I think they are with me,’ he said. ‘I can just sort of tell they are there. All three of them.’
Admitting it had been an emotional experience, he added: ‘I will have a bit of a cry later on but it’s a wonderful thing.’
• Bee Gees Way is 50 metres long and features more than 60 pictures and 13 album covers personally curated by Barry Gibb.
• The walkway begins with the Spicks and Specks Wall featuring song tiles of 37 Bee Gees songs.
• A statue of the trio stands in front of the Spicks and Specks Wall and opposite a 4m-high mural of the Bee Gees.
• Bee Gees Way is divided into five significant periods of the Bee Gees’ life:
We found paradise, life in Redcliffe
Heading to London in search of fame
Americanisation of the Bee Gees
Catching the Fever