Candid Capital: Mayfair Christmas
A festive window display on Maddox Street, Mayfair
Brook Street & The Bee Gees
Following the recent, sad death of musician, Robin Gibb, I thought now would be a good time to share the following plaque with you:
Robin Gibb of course, along with his brothers Maurice (who passed away in 2003) and Barry, formed The Bee Gees, the much celebrated group who wrote and performed many hits from the 1960s onwards.
The green plaque pictured above can be found at 67 Brook Street in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district. It was unveiled by Robin himself in May 2008.
As the commemorative disc shows, the Bee Gees spent a considerable amount of time at this address for a period of 12 years between 1968 and 1980.
The reason the brothers were so well acquainted with this residence is that 67 Brook Street was the home of Robert Stigwood; manager of the Bee Gees and head of ‘RSO Records’. Stigwood, an Australian by birth, used the exclusive Mayfair address as both his home and office.
The RSO label had great success, dealing with the release of numerous soundtracks including Grease, The Who’s rock opera, Tommy and the scores for the original Star Wars films.
The Bee Gees worked on many of their most famous hits at this address, including tracks for the 1977 film, Saturday Night Fever– indeed, it was at 67 Brook Street that they first met the movie’s lead role, John Travalota (who I’m sure would have felt quite at home on Brook Street as the American Embassy is only a few hundred yards up the road on Grosvenor Square).
Excerpts from How Deep is Your Love? and Stayin’ Alive can be heard during Saturday Night Fever’s end credits:
During their time at 67 Brook Street, the Bee Gees also put together their hit 1979 album, Spirits Having Flown which went onto sell over 20 million copies. They also penned the songs, Heartbreaker which was used by Dionne Warwick in 1982, and Chain Reaction, would later prove a successful hit for Diana Ross.
The Bee Gees weren’t the only musical greats familiar with Brook Street.
A little further up the road, number 23, during the late 1960s, was home to legendary guitarist, Jimi Hendrix (another story altogether of course!) and, next door to Jimi- although many, many years previously, there lived the great, 18th century composer, George Frideric Handel.
Today, Handel’s house is a museum; open to the public- click here for the link.
Cabbie’s Curios: Berkley’s Barks
Berkley Square, which lies within the heart of Mayfair, is one of London’s most exclusive spots.
Despite its central location, Berkley Square is a peaceful, leafy place; characteristics enhanced by a collection of towering plane trees, which are striking both in their height and beauty.
These trees were planted in 1789 by a local resident named Edward Bouverie, and are said to be amongst the oldest in london.
To put that into context, 1789 was the year in which the Bastille in Paris was stormed, thus sparking the French Revolution. George Washington became the first president of the United States, and William Blake was penning poems. Music of the day came courtesy of Beethoven and Mozart.
Plane trees are especially suited to London, as their tough bark acts as a kind of air filter; absorbing pollution and shedding the dirty bark accordingly. Probably why these particular specimens have lasted for so long.
In 2008, one of the Berkley Square Planes was valued at a stunning £750,000… making it the most valuable tree in the UK!