Alan Kendallon Playing with the Bee Gees

After his band Toe Fat got off the road opening for Derek & the Dominos in the early ’70s, Alan Kendall needed a gig. He got a call to audition for a reformed Bee Gees. He got the job, and played with the Brothers Gibb until the death of Maurice in 2003.

“When I got to the audition,” says Kendall, “I had spent several days working on the material and was quite well prepared, but I was not prepared for what I heard next. Barry counted off a song and off we went. When the three of them started singing harmony together, I couldn’t believe how incredible it sounded. I was absolutely gob smacked by the sound of their voices. I had never heard anything like it and knew at that instant that I had to be part of it. After running through about three songs, they all agreed that it sounded better than the old band. They said, ‘See you tomorrow,’ and drove off in their respective Rolls Royces and Bentleys. That was it, and to this day I have never been told that I got the job.

“I played on all the records and live gigs, as well as TV stuff. That is me playing the ‘Stayin’ Alive’ lick, although several people lay claim to coming up with it. Dennis Bryon, the drummer on those sessions, says it was me, Maurice used to say it was him, and my recollection is extremely hazy due to my drug and alcohol abuse. At the time they wrote ‘Stayin’ Alive,’ we were mixing a live album at the Chateaux, in France. Their manager, Robert Stigwood, flew in and explained that he had the rights to a movie about Saturday night in New York, and asked them to write some songs for it. To be honest, though, none of us thought the film would do much.

“The best part of the gig was playing with three superbly talented and gifted songwriters and singers for all those years. Getting to play amazing shows all over the world with fantastic musicians, and laughing our asses off most of the time. They were three very, very funny dudes.”
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