Watch the extraordinary moment the Bee Gees busked on the streets of London in 1993

10 May 2021, 17:20

Bee Gees Robin (centre), Maurice (left) and Barry Gibb (right) busked in London's Covent Garden in 1993.
Bee Gees Robin (centre), Maurice (left) and Barry Gibb (right) busked in London's Covent Garden in 1993. Picture: Rapido TV

By Giorgina Hamilton

The Bee Gees sang their hit song 'To Love Somebody' on the streets of London in the summer of 1993 and were joined by a crowd of overjoyed onlookers.

Bee Gees Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb had a long history of incredible live performances, but perhaps one that has been forgotten by many was the amazing moment the trio busked in London's Covent Garden.

Filmed in 1993 and for the early nineties music TV show Naked City, the three brothers are joined by presenter Johnny Vaughan and a huge crowd of fans for the incredible moment.

See more: Private studio footage of Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees recording 'Tragedy' is phenomenal

After introducing the three Bee Gees brothers and a local busker called Jolly Wolly, Johnny told viewers they were in for a "busking battle the like of which you'll never before have seen".

Filmed in 1993 and for the early nineties music TV show Naked City, the three brothers are joined by presenter Johnny Vaughan and a huge crowd of fans for the incredible moment.
Filmed in 1993 and for the early nineties music TV show Naked City, the three brothers are joined by presenter Johnny Vaughan and a huge crowd of fans for the incredible moment. Picture: Rapido TV
Despite 'To Love Somebody' becoming one of the Bee Gees most well-loved song, it only reached number 41 in the UK chart upon its release in 1967.
Despite 'To Love Somebody' becoming one of the Bee Gees most well-loved songs, it only reached number 41 in the UK chart upon its release in 1967. Picture: Rapido TV

The tongue-in-cheek moment then sees Johnny introduce Barry Gibb, asking him if he's nervous ahead of busking on the streets of London.

See more: The time Barry Gibb got his finger stuck in a bottle during a Bee Gees TV interview

"Terrified, terrified," Barry confirms with a straight face. "The last time we did this was when we were very tiny kids and we used to do it on the corner of our street where we lived in Manchester."

When asked how this compares to some of the world's largest stadiums, Barry continues to play along: "Radically different. This is pure, this is raw, you can't play any tricks or games, this is exactly how it is."

See more: The Bee Gees' flawless harmonies during a live MTV performance in 1993 is a lost masterpiece

Johnny Vaughan then turns to seasoned busked Jolly Wolly and asks if he has any tips for the Bee Gees. "Yeah," he replies, "stay clear of the Old Bill."

the Bee Gees as they stand in front of an open guitar case and play an acoustic version of their hit songs 'To Love Somebody' and 'Massachusetts' as the crowd stood on all sides watching them sing.
the Bee Gees as they stand in front of an open guitar case and play an acoustic version of their hit songs 'To Love Somebody' and 'Massachusetts' as the crowd stood on all sides watching them sing. Picture: Rapido TV
Despite having written hundreds of songs, Barry Gibb (centre) says 'To Love Somebody' is one of his all-time favourites.
Despite having written hundreds of songs, Barry Gibb (centre) says 'To Love Somebody' is one of his all-time favourites. Picture: Getty

The camera then pans to the Bee Gees as they stand in front of an open guitar case and play an acoustic version of their hit songs 'To Love Somebody' and 'Massachusetts' as the crowd stood on all sides watching them sing.

See more: Bee Gees: When Barry and Robin Gibb sang a flawless medley as Maurice tried to make them laugh

Despite 'To Love Somebody' becoming one of the Bee Gees most well-loved songs, it only reached number 41 in the UK chart upon its release in 1967.

The band later spoke of the song in an interview quoted in Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb by Andrew Hughes.

See more: When Barry Gibb tenderly kissed Barbra Streisand live on stage at the 1981 Grammy Awards

"Everyone told us what a great record they thought it was, Other groups all raved about it but for some reason people in Britain just did not seem to like it," Robin Gibb said.

The Bee Gees in Australia in 1971, four years after the release of 'To Love Somebody' in the UK.
The Bee Gees in Australia in 1971, four years after the release of 'To Love Somebody' in the UK. Picture: Getty

"I think the reason it didn't do well here was because it's a soul number, Americans loved it, but it just wasn't right for this country," added Barry Gibb.

See more: Barry Gibb and Michael Jackson's powerful forgotten duet 'All In Your Name' is spectacular

In 2017, during an interview on Piers Morgan's Life Stories, Barry Gibb said that despite having written hundreds of songs, the 1967 classic is on of his favourites.

Piers said: "Of all the songs that you've ever written, which song would you choose?"

See more: Barry Gibb inviting Maurice's daughter on stage for duet of 'How Can You Mend a Broken Heart' is so moving

Barry replied his choice would be 'To Love Somebody' as it has "a clear, emotional message."