On Air Now
Smooth Breakfast with Jenni Falconer 6am - 10am
22 December 2023, 13:44 | Updated: 22 December 2023, 13:48
The Bee Gee spoke of the accident that happened when he was just two years old.
Barry Gibb is one of the most revered songwriters of all time.
The Bee Gee, who has produced a whopping 16 No.1 songs, transformed the music landscape of the 20th century.
Barry went on to write hit after hit, including 'Chain Reaction' for Diana Ross, 'Islands in the Stream' for Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, 'Woman in Love' for Barbra Streisand, 'Heartbreaker' for Dionne Warwick, 'Grease' for Frankie Valli and even 'Emotion' for Destiny's Child.
The Bee Gee's songwriting abilities are unrivalled, however, according to the star he believes some of his natural talent was molded by an accident in childhood, which gave him an "instinct about music, about life, about everything."
Barry and his siblings grew up at 50 St Catherine's Drive in Douglas, Isle of Mann, where he was born in 1946 to parents Hugh Gibb, a drummer, and Barbara Gibb.
When Barry was nearly two years old, he had an accident that would change everything.
His mother had made some tea, which she had put on the table and a young Barry climbed up and pulled the teapot down, which poured all over him, scalding him severely.
Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive Music Video
The toddler was rushed to hospital. "I had about 20 minutes to live," Gibb told CBS News.
"I spent two years in hospital and after I came out, I never said a word for another two years."
In an earlier interview, Barry revealed how the lack of medical advancement in the 1940s meant that he suffered from gangrene while recovering in hospital.
"Gangrene set in. Because in those days, the advancement of medicine simply didn't apply to people with bad scalds, so you didn't have skin grafts, you didn't have things like that.
"But this was a particularly bad scald," he said, adding: "The incredible thing for me is that whole two years is wiped from my memory, the whole period of being in hospital.
"The idea of being burnt is in there somewhere, but I have no knowledge of it. I've got the scars but I have no knowledge."
Smooth's Untold Stories: Barry Gibb and wife Linda's beautiful relationship
In a 2013 interview, Barry said the incident left him a very 'shy' and 'quiet' boy, and while he has overcome his shyness, he is still 'emotionally wired'.
Speaking to the Mail On Sunday, Barry said: "I cry at the drop of a hat. If I'm watching a sad movie or TV show, I sit with a towel on my lap because I cry so much.
"I came back to Australia recently, for the first time without my brothers. A local reporter showed me a copy of our first television appearance and I started blubbering. I can't help it - I'm emotionally wired."