On Air Now
The Smooth Late Show with Eamonn Kelly 10pm - 1am
10 December 2020, 16:49 | Updated: 28 January 2021, 17:23
Ahead of the new Bee Gees documentary 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart', Barry Gibb has opened up about why he had to ask the King of Pop to leave his house back in 2002.
Hot on the heels of the announcement of a new album of country Bee Gees cover duets and an in-depth documentary 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart' charting the three brothers' rise to fame and their impact on the music industry, Barry has opened up about his unusual relationship with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
MJ and the oldest Bee Gee collaborated on the song 'All In Your Name' in 2002 – an outstanding duet which has largely been forgotten – and were so close MJ was asked to be the the godfather to one of Barry's children.
At the time, Michael and Barry were reportedly working on a variety of tracks together, yet 'All In Your Name' – reportedly written to protest the United States government's impending plan to invade Iraq – was one of the few tracks that were ever released.
“Well, we sat around in my lounge for days at a time, just having fun, not really writing songs," Barry recalled.
"We came up with one, 'All in My Name', but we were never that serious about it.
"I think Michael was just trying to escape the legal environment he was trapped in, he was visiting people he knew that he could relate to, because he didn’t know who his friends were."
The Bee Gee remembers that after Michael came to visit him at home, he eventually asked him to leave after overstaying his welcome.
"He started to hang out at the house all the time and I had to get up in the morning; I’m 12 years older than him, I had to take my kids to school," he said.
"At some point, I said: ‘Michael, wherever it is you’re going, you’ve got to go.’ So,” Barry laughs, “I politely asked Michael Jackson to leave my house because I couldn’t get anything else done.”
The interview comes after Barry had previously discussed his time with MJ and how fond he was of the star.
"Michael Jackson and I were the dearest of friends, that's simply what it was," Barry said upon the release of the video for their duet in 2011.
"We gravitated towards the same kind of music and we loved collaborating and he was the easiest person to write with."
"The more we got to know each other the more those ideas entwined and it all came to this song 'All In Your Name'.
"'All in Your Name' is in fact the message that Michael wanted to send out to all of his fans all over the world that he did it all for them and for the pure love of music.
"I hope and pray that we all get to hear it in its entirety. This experience I will treasure forever."
The footage showed Michael Jackson in a way the public rarely got to see him, relaxed and focused on making music alongside good friend Barry Gibb.
A Billboard report from 2002 said that MJ turned up on Barry's doorstep with the half-finished track and was drawn to writing with the Bee Gee because both artists opposed the Iraq war, but Barry Gibb refuted these claims in 2011.
"[All in Your Name is] the message that Michael wanted to send out to all of his fans all over the world," Gibb wrote. "That he did it all for them and for the pure love of music."
The Bee Gees and Michael Jackson's friendship went back decades, with Barry Gibb naming one of his sons after the singer – who was also Michael Gibb's godfather – and Jackson attending fellow Bee Gee Maurice Gibb's funeral in 2003.
"We are devastated," Barry Gibb said after MJ's sudden death on June 25, 2009, with his brother Robin Gibb adding: "We've not only lost a great friend in Michael, but also lost a wonderful sensitive human being."
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart launches on Sky Documentaries on December 13 and on DVD and Digital Download from December 14.