1979 Spirits Having Flown Tour
|Spirits Having Flown Tour|
|Tour by Bee Gees|
|Associated album||Spirits Having Flown|
|Start date||28 June 1979|
|End date||7 October 1979|
|Shows||47 in total|
|Bee Gees concert chronology|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- "Edge Of The Universe"
- "Night Fever"
- "Love So Right"
- "Stayin' Alive"
- "New York Mining Disaster"
- "Run To Me"
- "Too Much Heaven"
- "I Can't See Nobody"
- "Lonely Days"
- "I Started A Joke"
- "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart"
- "Nights On Broadway"
- "To Love Somebody"
- "Wind Of Change"
- "How Deep Is Your Love"
- "Jive Talkin'"
- "You Should Be Dancing"
- Barry Gibb - Lead vocal, guitar
- Robin Gibb - Vocals
- Maurice Gibb - Backing vocal, bass
- Andy Gibb - Vocals
- John Travolta - Vocals
- Alan Kendall - Guitar
- Blue Weaver - keyboards
- Harold Cowart - Bass
- Dennis Bryon - Drums
- Sweet Inspirations - Backing vocalists
Box office score data
|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|
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.
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.
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.
- Tales Of The Brothers Gibb, First Edition, Omnibus Press, 2000.
- Brothers Gibb International