The Foo Fighters are getting on the disco revival bandwagon, taking on a new alter ego as the Dee Gees.
The Dee Gees are a whimsical play on the Bee Gees band name, with B and G replaced by D and G, the initials of ever-popular Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl.
New York City’s Madison Square Garden saw the first formal introduction of the Dee Gees to a sold-out, 460-day music-starved crowd, with You Should Be Dancing on their play card.
“Motherfuckers, tonight we’re going to give you a little taste of the fucking Dee Gees. Are you ready? I don’t want to see nobody sitting down, ‘cause you know what? You should be dancing, motherfuckers.” (Dave Grohl … kinda’ spoofing Jack Black? Samuel L. Jackson?)
Last year, the newly inducted Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Foo Fighters were supposed to hold a special tour celebrating their 25th anniversary, including revisiting arenas in cities they played in the early days, with surprise gigs at some of the same clubs they whipped into a frenzy in 1995. Instead, we waited, and waited for COVID liberation, and then watched and rewatched a 26 minute documentary they produced called Times Like Those. Here is the short for you if you haven’t already seen it:
“… using this (COVID) time for contemplation, growth and an honest assessment of who we are as seen through the lens of who we’ve been; bad fashion decisions, questionable facial hair, and, to be fair, a pretty respectable collection of guitars. All of it.” (Dave Grohl)
In the spirit of the Dee Gees, even more entertaining is another film about the band they’re honoring. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart is a great HBO documentary about the Bee Gees directed by Frank Marshall, who is pretty handy with a guitar himself. There’s a Bee Gees biopic in the works from the producer of critically acclaimed Bohemian Rhapsody, but no release date yet; 74-year old Barry Gibb, the only surviving member of the Bee Gees will serve as executive producer.
The Foo Fighters have a busy schedule planned for 2021-22, assuming the Delta variant doesn’t wreak any more havoc upon us. The next event is at The Forum, just outside of Los Angeles, on Saturday, July 17th. This architectural wonder was conceived by Canadian Jack Kent Cooke, a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman who made millions as owner of the Lakers and dreamed of a sports venue that would rival the Taj Mahal. The band’s PR machine promises “a crapload more shows to be announced”; 10 countries are already included in the mix.
The Foo Fighters’ new album, Hail Satin, will include 5 Bee Gees covers: Night Fever, Tragedy, You Should Be Dancing, Shadow Dancing and More Than a Woman. The B Side will feature 5 live versions of songs from the Foo Fighters’ last album, Medicine at Midnight, which was released in February.
The disco-heavy album will be released on vinyl for Record Store Day on Saturday, July 17. I wonder what the band will be wearing as they play The Forum that evening? For those of you who weren’t alive during the Bee Gees era, men wore tight, shiny pants, tucked-in shirts opened halfway down the chest (with no waxing) and gold necklaces.
Studio 54 will forever live in our memories as The Ultimate Discotheque. Netflix has a great film about its beginnings and unfortunate demise after only 33 months in operation, with tax evasion coming in as a handy reason to shut the whole “lurid” place down.
“I think people are interested in (Studio 54) maybe now, because we’ve been in a kind of a sociopolitical funk lately. Everybody wants a little bit of joy.” (Studio 54: Night Magic by Matthew Yokobosky, Brooklyn Museum)
Who were the Bee Gees? There’s a lot to be said, here’s a quick cheat sheet:
- A family band: 3 brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice, with baby Andy joining the trio as a surprise addition to the family 9 years later
- A musical lineage: Father drummer and band leader, mother singer
- Heritage: British, eventually relocated to Redcliffe, Australia
- Name: Originally called the Rattlesnakes, then the BGs after the initials of early supporters Bill Good (Redcliffe Speedway owner) and Bill Gates (local DJ)
- Career span: 1958 to 1988 when Andy died at age 30 as a result of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, exacerbated by years of drug abuse
- Record sales: No one knows for sure, estimated to be 120-220 million. Either way, it’s a BIG number
- Accolades: 9 singles reached #1 on the Hot 100 chart, trumped only by the Beatles and the Supremes during their era
- Legacy: The Bee Gees will be forever associated with the movie Saturday Night Fever, which featured Welcome Back, Kotter sitcom star John Travolta as a young Italian-American from Brooklyn who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a local discotheque, while feeling trapped in his working-class neighborhood. The $3.5 million budget reeled in $237.1 million in box office sales, and the Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever soundtrack sold over 40 million copies. Very BIG indeed
“… no one dominated disco more than the Bee Gees whose soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever cemented their place in history and changed the defining sound of the era.” (Maura Judkis, Washington Post)
Here is the track list for Hail Satin:
- You Should Be Dancing
- Night Fever
- Shadow Dancing
- More Than a Woman
- Making a Fire (Live)
- Shame Shame (Live)
- Waiting on a War (Live)
- No Son of Mine (Live)
- Cloudspotter (Live)
Hey, Dave, have you done your homework to inform your on-stage Dee Gees wardrobe choices? Forgive me, but your attire at Madison Square Garden was off-brief … however, Magdalena Wosinska and your wardrobe team got it right when the band was photographed wearing full-fledged 70’s attire to promote Hail Satin. I hope to see more on Saturday.
Let’s have fun with this trip down memory lane -- after all, what’s old is new again, and after a year of COVID, we just want to have FUN, FUN, FUN.
“The 70’s fashion is so rich, it’s its own lane. I’m going to express myself, and be as wacky, crazy and glittery as I can.”
We have a lot to say about the Bee Gees, Dee Gees, Foo Fighters and Record Store Day – too much for 1 blog. So, we’re publishing Part 2 of this blog on Saturday, June 17th to coincide with Record Store Day. Be sure to subscribe to our FACT-ory blog by providing your email address below, or follow us on social media so you don’t forget to check back in for Part 2 on Saturday. We’ll also have trivia quizzes on both days to go along with blog content so you can STRUT YOUR SMART alone, in live 1V1 or live group play mode; as usual, these quizzes will only be available for 24 hours, then they disappear. Need a reason to dance or to party, we’ve just given you two.
Now challenge yourself and your friends to our Dee Gees Quiz of the Day, by downloading Quizefy from the app store if you haven’t already done so, then see how much you know and Strut Your Smart. Our new Dee Gees Quiz is only available today, then it disappears. We’ll be back again every Tuesday with a special blog posted at www.quizefy.com, along with a new trivia quiz on the same topic as the blog. Don’t forget to follow Quizefy in social media, so we can remind you of upcoming blog and quiz content.