Bee Gees Way Redcliffe
Fans of the Bee Gees should not miss a visit to Bee Gees Way, a commemorative 70m walkway that honours Redcliffe's most famous young residents who went on to be one of the top selling bands of all time.
The walkway, which was opened in 2 stages in 2013 and 2015 by Barry Gibb, was largely curated by him and is like a multi-media mini outdoor museum.
A gallery of more than 60 photos, 13 album covers and snippets of info about their lives, set out in chronological order, covers one wall along with an enshrined copy of the first album contract they signed with managers Bill Goode and Bill Gates in 1959.
Along the other wall is a 70m mural of the artwork of Barry, Robin, Maurice and younger brother Andy Gibb while a 5.3m video screen shows interviews with Barry Gibb, never before seen home videos and footage of the Bee Gees performances.
As well as life size (bare foot) statues of the Gibb brothers as children in Redcliffe there's also statues of the adult Bee Gees from the 'One Night Only' album era.
Seating features the lyrics of Bee Gees songs and by night the whole laneway comes to life with light shows set to music* every half hour from 7pm till 9.30pm.
The Bee Gees Story...
From a carefree childhood in Redcliffe, topping the charts for the first time, migrating back to the UK, the golden disco years in California and up until their last performances together, the Bee Gees story is told from start to finish. And the piece de resistance is the bronze statue immortalizing them forever as the young Redcliffe boys aged 9 and 12, who captivated their first audience at the Redcliffe Speedway.
Upon migrating to Australia with their family in 1958, Barry, Maurice and Robin settled on the peninsula, where they attended Humpybong State School and in their spare time wrote and played music, fished for tiger sharks and played arcade games on the Redcliffe Jetty. It was a carefree bare footed childhood that none of them ever forgot and which, decades later Barry wrote a poignant piece of prose summing up:
"I have changed, the child inside me has not. I'm still here on Redcliffe Beach. I'm still fishing for the tiger shark on a pier long swept away by time and tide. I can still see the pie cart, the Saturday night dance, and the speedway, and first love. I remember visibly my childhood days here and I will dwell on my Redcliffe for as long as I live." (Excerpt from a recollection by Barry Gibb, which can be viewed in the Redcliffe Museum).
Their first break came at the Redcliffe Speedway when, as refreshment-selling boys they would sing at interval to entertain the crowds, encouraged by owner Bill Goode. One night Brisbane radio DJ Bill Gates from 4BH was in the audience, heard them and gave them their first gig on radio. Indeed it was the initials of these two men that the boys were indebted to that spawned the name the Bee Gees and it was on a kitchen table in Redcliffe that their first recording contract was signed.
Appearances at other venues followed, including a regular gig at the Filmer's Palace Hotel, a hulking great white art deco pub which used to stand on the hill above the Gayundah wreck at Woody Point and burnt down in 2014.
During their time at Redcliffe the boys moved houses several times and two cottages known to have been rented by their family also still stand: 12 Fifth Avenue, Scarborough and one which was damaged by a fire in 2013 at 4 Tramore St Margate. A resident of the street recalled that a number of years back when the twins were alive, one day a limousine pulled up on the street and the 3 brothers jumped out and took pics of their old house.
A stint living at Cribb Island also occurred during those years before they moved south and, ironically on the day in 1966 that their first chart-topping single Specks and Specks hit no 1, they landed in England to further their career and never returned, thus closing the Australian chapter of their lives.
Need to know: look for the large sculpture of revolving yellow rings on water side of the esplanade and it is opposite here that the Bee Gees Way is located. *Light and music shows at 7, 7.30, 8, 8.30, 9, 9.30pm daily.
A life-size statue of the brothers as young boys in Redcliffe, complete with bare feet as requested by Barry Gibb
• More than 60 captioned photographs and 13 album covers from across the band's career
• Personal stories and reflections by Barry Gibb
• A 70-metre mural featuring artwork of Barry, Robin, Maurice and Andy Gibb.
• A new statue of the Bee Gees from the 'One Night Only' era
• Seating featuring lyrics of Bee Gees songs
• A copy of the contract they signed with Bill Goode and Bill Gates in 1959
• A 5.3 square metre video screen showing exclusive interviews with Barry Gibb and never before seen home movie footage, along with Bee Gees songs
• Light shows set to music (every night at 7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm, 9pm, 9.30pm)
Between Sutton St
& Redcliffe Pde