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Home English Section Archives (EN) [Archive 1968] Robin and Maurice Gibb - "It's Tough Being a Twin"

[Archive 1968] Robin and Maurice Gibb - "It's Tough Being a Twin"

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Robin and Maurice Gibb
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Robin and Maurice spoke about being twins in an artcile in U.S. teen magazine FaVe called "It's tough being a twin."

Here's a quick excerpt.

 

Equal Attention

     From the cradle, Maurice and Robin got the same amount of attention, the same clothes, the same toys and the same everything until today, they have rebelled and are as drastically different as they could possibly ever become.
     As kids in Australia, they shared the front bedroom in the Gibb home where they had identical belongings.  In fact, they were so much alike that when they were about 13 years old, two 16 year old girls couldn't decide which twin they preferred so they waited until about midnight one summer evening and climbed in the window of Robin and Maurice's bedroom to get to know them a little better!  (The boys didn't like the idea, by the way, woke and started screaming until their father chased the girls away.)


Together Constantly

      Today (BGD note: late '60s), thre's a theory especially in American schools, that twins should be separated as much as possible, go different classrooms and develop separate sets of friends.  Maurice and Robin were born too soon to get in on this idea and spent almost all their time together.  Double this with the fact that they were entertainers and had to work and practice together too and you'll get an idea of how much alike they had become, simply because they were together so much.
     However, when the Bee Gees left Australia and moved to England, Maurice and Robin began to drift apart--and neither one of them regret it.  They had literally gotten sick of each other, quite understandably when you think of it.

 

Drastic Changes

     First of all, they quit dressing alike.  Robin went for velvets and ruffles.  Maurice went to more tailored clothes and darker colors.
     Then they developed ddifferent hobbies.  While Maurice lives and breathes stereo and hi fi equipment, Robin owns only a simple record player which doesn't even have an exterior speaker.
     Maurice also became the swinger of the two.  He catches shows at all the London clubs and usually stays out on the town, even when the guys are travelling.
     Robin, on the other hand, stays home most of the time and considers himself a loner.  He reads and writes songs and has very few friends--at least, not the kind who drop in for a fast party.

Mo Is Outgoing
    Maurice is gregarious, friendly, relatively east to get to know and he has tons of people always stopping in on him to talk or listen to records.  Maurice also cruises around London with Paul McCartney and visits Donovan regularly.  Robin stays to himself.
     If you sat Robin or Maurice down in a chair and gave them each 30 minutes to talk about their lives as twins, the'd fill at least 25 minutes with unfavorable comments.  It's not so much that they don't like each other--its just that they don't like the idea of always being in someone's shadow.
      When you have to split attention, belongings or success with someone you've been with almost all your life, you get very defensive about your own identity.  You go to all extremes to become your own person, not a twin.

 

Different personalities

     Robin and Maurice are stil fighting the battle of each other--trying to erase the influence that each had on the other.  They are becoming so different that pretty soon--if not already--you'll never believe that they are actually twins.  Would you believe it now, if someone showed you separate pictures of each of them?

     Probably not.  And the old story about how the ideal match for twin guys would be twin grils is a lot of hogwash, according to both Maurice and Robin.  You can bet they probably prefer to date sisterless girls.  Cna you imagine dating another shadow?

 

From: "It's Tough Being A Twin," FaVe, 1968)

If you have read Allison Pearson's novel I Think I Love You about growing up as a David Cassidy fan, you'll know that at least some of these teen magazines do not actually speak to the celebrities concerned when writing articles about them.  They could sometimes be quotes or paraphrases from other sources, and in other cases even be "stories" created by writers of the articles.

In fact, Robin and Maurice were fraternal, not identical, twins.  And even as brothers, they did not look so much alike.  However, as the big brother Barry often spoke of themselves as inseparable and "more like triplets," all the three of them were in the same boat.  So the late '60s' breakup could partly have been a process needed for each to "become his own person."  In this regard, this story which, when it first came out, largely read like generalization rather than about Robin and Maurice specifically, feels somewhat relevant.  Personally, however, what is written about their tastes in clothes could be the other way round.  Although both twins were at one time or another dressed in frills and ruffles of the '60s psychedelic and flower power trend, it was Robin who went more for tailored suits, wasn't it?

{BGD - December 2015}