1979 Spirits Having Flown Tour

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Spirits Having Flown Tour
SpiritsTourLogo.jpg
Tour logo
Tour by Bee Gees
Associated album Spirits Having Flown
Start date 28 June 1979
End date 7 October 1979
Legs 1
Shows 47 in total
Bee Gees concert chronology
1972 Trafalgar Tour
(1971)
Spirits Having Flown Tour
(1979)
One For All World Tour
(1989)

Following the release of the Spirits Having Flown album in February 1979, the Bee Gees set out on their most lavish and successful tour during the height of their popularity following two straight number one albums and six straight number one singles.

History[edit]

After the release of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, The Bee Gees were unable to tour due to their commitment to the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie. Then from March to November, 1978, they spent much of their time in the studio recording Spirits Having Flown, the follow-up album to Saturday Night Fever.

Prior to the kickoff of the tour, The Bee Gees popularity grew even further following Saturday Night Fever, when they were the headline act on the Music for UNICEF Concert in January. Then they won four Grammy awards in February for Fever and by June, they pulled off a feat only matched by The Beatles with six consecutive number one singles, when "Love You Inside Out" topped the charts in June, setting the stage for the hottest summer tour since The Beatles in 1964.

Considering the group's popularity was at an all-time high, stringent security precautions were taken, though The Bee Gees themselves setup base in only five cities. They would fly to the next venue and return to their home base immediately following the show. They leased a custom 55-seat Boeing 720 jet at a cost of over one million dollars with a specially designed logo on the exterior of the plane. The Bee Gees were accompanied on the tour by a film crew capturing highlights of the shows, for use in a NBC-TV special which aired in November, hosted by David Frost.[1]

The Bee Gees were joined on stage with their usual band featuring Alan Kendall on guitar, Blue Weaver on keyboards and Dennis Bryon on drums, as well as Boonero Horns, a 6-piece brass section and Sweet Inspirations, which provided backing vocals.

Concerts[edit]

Being that this was the most ambitious tour The Bee Gees ever embarked on, there was a lot of preparation that went into the tour, from an extensive rehearsal schedule (in which The Bee Gees missed that year's Billboard music awards, where they won an astonishing 11 awards), staging and special effects, merchandising and tight security.

The tour consisted of a 41-date schedule starting in Fort Worth, TX and ending in their hometown of Miami, FL. The 3 Gibb brothers were identically dressed in white satin trousers and dazzling white spangled jackets throughout the tour. During the Houston show on June 30, a bearded John Travolta joined the Bee Gees on stage during "You Should Be Dancing" to reprise some of his footwork from Saturday Night Fever. Travolta was in Houston shooting the film Urban Cowboy.[1]

Set list[edit]

The set list for this tour included many of their hits to date, with the usual acoustic set featuring many older hits. Despite the name of the tour, the Bee Gees performed only one song from Spirits Having Flown, "Tragedy". Despite not being a Bee Gee himself, the Bee Gees' younger brother Andy Gibb performed with them on "You Should Be Dancing", possibly the closest he came to becoming a Bee Gee.

  1. "Tragedy"
  2. "Edge Of The Universe"
  3. "Night Fever"
  4. "Love So Right"
  5. "Stayin' Alive"
  6. Medley:
    • "New York Mining Disaster"
    • "Run To Me"
    • "Too Much Heaven"
    • "Holiday"
    • "I Can't See Nobody"
    • "Lonely Days"
    • "I Started A Joke"
    • "Massachusetts"
  7. "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart"
  8. "Nights On Broadway"
  9. "To Love Somebody"
  10. "Words"
  11. "Wind Of Change"
  12. "How Deep Is Your Love"
  13. "Jive Talkin'"
Encore
  1. "You Should Be Dancing"

Tour band[edit]

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
North America
28 June 1979 Fort Worth United States Tarrant County Convention Center
29 June 1979 Austin Frank Erwin Center
30 June 1979 Houston The Summit
2 July 1979 Denver McNichols Sports Arena
3 July 1979 Albuquerque Tingley Coliseum
5 July 1979 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
7 July 1979 Los Angeles Dodger Stadium
10 July 1979 Oakland Oakland Coliseum Arena
11 July 1979
13 July 1979 Seattle Seattle Center Coliseum
15 July 1979 Vancouver Canada PNE Coliseum
17 July 1979 Portland United States Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum
21 July 1979 St. Paul Saint Paul Civic Center Arena
22 July 1979
24 July 1979 Ames Hilton Coliseum
25 July 1979 Madison Dane County Coliseum
26 July 1979 Indianapolis Market Square Arena
28 July 1979 Pontiac Pontiac Silverdome
30 July 1979 Chicago Chicago Stadium
31 July 1979
1 August 1979 St. Louis St. Louis Checkerdome
3 August 1979 Tulsa Mabee Center
4 August 1979 Oklahoma City Myriad Convention Center
27 August 1979 New Haven New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum
28 August 1979 Providence Providence Civic Center
29 August 1979
31 August 1979 Toronto Canada Maple Leaf Gardens
1 September 1979 Montreal Montreal Forum
2 September 1979
4 September 1979 Pittsburgh United States Pittsburgh Civic Arena
5 September 1979
7 September 1979 New York City Madison Square Garden
8 September 1979
9 September 1979
14 September 1979 Buffalo Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
15 September 1979 Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum
16 September 1979
18 September 1979 Cleveland Coliseum at Richfield
21 September 1979 Philadelphia The Spectrum
24 September 1979 Washington, DC Capital Centre
26 September 1979 Norfolk Norfolk Scope
28 September 1979 Birmingham Birmingham–Jefferson Civic Center Arena
29 September 1979 Atlanta Omni Coliseum
2 October 1979 Greensboro Greensboro Coliseum
4 October 1979 Jacksonville Jacksonville Coliseum
6 October 1979 Miami Miami Stadium

Box office score data[edit]

Venue City Tickets Sold / Available Gross Revenue (1979)
Convention Center Fort Worth 13,901 / 13,901 (100%) $202,480
Special Events Center Austin 17,440 / 17,900 (97%) $231,410
The Summit Houston 16,564 / 16,611 (99%) $231,285
Salt Palace Salt Lake City 12,920 / 12,920 (100%) $177,748
Sports Arena San Diego 12,714 / 14,800 (86%) $175,853
Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Oakland 38,078 / 58,788 (65%) $530,305
Seattle Center Seattle 26,707 / 33,282 (80%) $369,443
Pacific Coliseum Vancouver 15,158 / 17,281 (88%) $215,828
Civic Center St. Paul 31,040 / 31,040 (100%) $434,445
Hilton Coliseum Ames 14,685 / 15,356 (96%) $204,220
Veterans Memorial Coliseum Madison 9,883 / 10,231 (97%) $144,573
Market Square Arena Indianapolis 17,730 / 17,730 (100%) $245,328
Silverdome Pontiac 36,270 / 41,732 (87%) $453,375
Chicago Stadium Chicago 36,196 / 36,944 (98%) $507,573
Checkerdome St. Louis 16,834 / 17,188 (98%) $238,290
Myriad Arena Oklahoma City 15,477 / 15,634 (99%) $217,920
Memorial Coliseum New Haven 10,880 / 11,171 (97%) $157,768
Civic Center Providence 26,139 / 26,552 (98%) $371,368
Maple Leaf Gardens Toronto 18,249 / 19,281 (95%) $264,265
Montreal Forum Montreal 34,733 / 37,150 (93%) $484,984
Madison Square Garden New York City 39,864 / 39,864 (100%) $376,000
Memorial Auditorium Buffalo 16,800 / 17,449 (96%) $236,492
Riverfront Coliseum Cincinnati 33,334 / 33,334 (100%) $469,545
Richfield Coliseum Cleveland 35,000 / 35,000 (100%) $496,000
The Spectrum Philadelphia 29,056 / 39,056 (100%) $399,015
Capitol Center Landover 36,674 / 36,674 (100%) $515,568
Norfolk Scope Norfolk 11,854 / 13,800 (86%) $163,873
Civic Center Birmingham 17,901 / 18,654 (96%) $243,583
Omni Coliseum Atlanta 31,951 / 31,951 (100%) $455,315
Greensboro Coliseum Greensboro 18,299 / 23,500 (78%) $213,980
Tingley Coliseum Albuquerque 12,151 / 12,401 (98%) $171,065
Jacksonville Coliseum Jacksonville 10,117 / 11,603 (87%) $140,580

Additional notes[edit]

Famous attendees[edit]

Besides the surprise appearance by John Travolta at the Houston concert, many celebrities were in attendance at many of the concerts. Among the 60,000 fans at L.A.'s Dodger Stadium were Cary Grant, Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart, Olivia Newton-John, Karen Carpenter, Jack Nicholson and Harry Wayne Casey of KC & The Sunshine Band.[1]

At their concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden, were Al Pacino, Billy Joel, Marilu Henner, Diana Ross as well as KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The Bee Gees were presented with the Golden Ticket award for audiences of more than 100,000, following sell-out shows at Madison Square Garden.[2]

Prior to their September 24 concert in Washington, DC, The Bee Gees were invited to the White House where President Carter congratulated them for their efforts with UNICEF.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

Following the largest tour of their career, rumors began to float around that the group was splitting up following Barry's comments regarding the strain the tour was putting on him and his brothers. NBC aired The Bee Gees Special on November 15 which featured the group in the recording studio, interviews and many performances from the tour. Barry began working on younger brother Andy's last album After Dark, which was followed by the hugely successful Barbra Streisand album Guilty. The Bee Gees themselves released the lavish Bee Gees Greatest double album that went to #1, which featured their biggest hits and selected album cuts from 1975-1979.

It was fortunate that The Bee Gees embarked on this tour when they did, for the disco backlash began brewing during the summer of 1979, and by 1980 the group was being banned from American radio as their incredible level of super stardom as artists quickly vanished. Instead they became successful writers and producers for other artists throughout the 80's.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Tales Of The Brothers Gibb, First Edition, Omnibus Press, 2000.
  2. ^ Brothers Gibb International