Maurice Gibb is Talent Hunting, 1970
From the Pelham Pop Annual in 1970, an interview with Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees on his new record company, started with his brother Barry Gibb. Their first signing was Billy Lawrie, the brother of Maurice’s new wife Lulu. This interview is mainly a call out for talent to be signed up by them, with a little look into the domestic life of Maurice and Lulu – they are trying to be a traditional couple and he even gives her housekeeping money.
An aside, see here for the incredible Lulu-mania scenes at their wedding as recorded by British Pathé in 1969 – http://www.britishpathe.com/video/lulus-wedding
He talks about the names they were thinking of for the company “Lemon” (discarded for being too similar to the Beatles’ “Apple”) or “BG” but fails to mention its chosen name – all he says is “the title you all know it as”. It took a bit of digging to find out the name, as there are very few references to this company now. It turns out it was originally called “Diamond” but changed when they realised there was a record company of that name in the US. It then became “Gee Gee” for the two Gibb brothers involved. But, unfortunately for the Pelham Pop Annual, this was already old news by 1970, with Maurice and Barry splitting up in December 1969 and the record company going by the wayside.
Interestingly, Maurice talks about their film Cucumber Castle here, except at the point of the interview it was a 13-week series. In the event, it became a one off television special. It was only released on video for a very short space of time, and was considered one of the rarest commercial releases ever. Now, though, you can see the whole thing on Youtube. It has quite a cast – as well as Maurice and Barry, there were Frankie Howerd, Vincent Price, Eleanor Bron, Ginger Baker, Lulu and Spike Milligan, to name a few. Maurice talks about the tens of thousands he’s spent on video equipment for the film, but looking at it, perhaps it needed a little more – although the songs are lovely, of course.