BeeGees: The Story of Stayin’ Alive
As Stayin’ Alive-A BeeGees Tribute visits the Center this weekend we couldn’t help but ask ourselves the important questions like: Which came first, the song or the movie?
So we decided to share what we’ve dug up on the history of the infamous song that you are probably now singing in your head (don’t worry- we are too!)
The BeeGees were a popular band in the 60s and 70s playing mostly ballads and R&B funk music that was popular at the time. Their manager, Robert Stigwood, asked them to bring their music and contribute to the soundtrack for his upcoming film project, a movie based on the night scene of New York.
The BeeGees shared their track “Stayin’ Alive” with producers, but they wanted something with a steady beat and a popular “Saturday Night” title. When they looked into steadying the beat, the drummer was absent for personal reasons so the band instead cut a two-bar beat and repeated it on loop for the entire song, later overlapping things like symbols and horns. The group later used the name Bernard Lupe as the drummer on the track as a joke (Bernard being the first name of their actual drummer, Lupe being a reference to the looped track) and Mr. Lupe, fictional, became in high demand until people discovered he did not actually exist.
Producers wanted to name the film “Saturday Night” but the BeeGees refused to change the name of their song “Night Fever” so producers ultimately combined the two to create “Saturday Night Fever.” “Staying Alive,” the movie sequel, was named after Stayin’ Alive the song became the memorable hit.
While the brothers admit that the song brought them much fame, several sources state the band felt it pigeonholed them as a disco-group, which they did not believe themselves to be.
The song has been used in several films, televisions shows and has been revisited by several artists in its lifetime. It has been named to several “best of” lists in the genres of Rock and Roll, Dance, Pop and even “all-time” best. The song has also been used in medical training as the 103 beats per minute meets recommended guidelines for CPR training.
Do you remember the first time you heard Stayin’ Alive?