Bee Gees singer/songwriter Robin Gibb awoke from a coma while music from his latest composition, the recently released classical work “The Titanic Requiem”, was playing, his son said on Monday.
The 62-year-old star of the disco era, who has been battling cancer and pneumonia and slipped into a coma earlier this month, had been given less than a 10 percent chance of surviving, Robin-John Gibb told ITV News in an interview.
But as he lay in a London hospital bed, his family members played Bee Gees tunes and noticed Mr. Gibb trying to mouth words to songs he had sung hundreds of times. When his latest symphonic music composed with his son was played, Mr. Gibb came around.
“He woke up while we were playing the track which is a movement from the (Titanic) Requiem we have just written,” Robin-John told the news programme, referring to Mr. Gibb’s debut classical work which he co-wrote with his son.
Mr. Gibb had been due to attend the red carpet premiere of “Titanic Requiem” at the Westminster Central Hall on April 10, but was forced to cancel after he fell ill.
Family members, including the other surviving Bee Gee, Barry, have been keeping a bedside vigil at the hospital in recent days amid media reports that he was close to death.
Mr. Gibb, along with brothers Maurice and Barry, formed the Bee Gees who rose to fame in the late 1960s and dominated charts in the 1970s with disco hits including “Night Fever”, “Stayin’ Alive” and “Jive Talkin’”.
The band, famous for high-pitched vocals and tight harmonies, has sold an estimated 200 million records, making it the most successful brother act and one of the biggest pop groups of all time. Maurice died in 2003 aged 53.
“He is completely compos mentis now and the first thing he said to me was ‘Hi R-J, can you tell them my back hurts?’ so we got a nurse to turn him. We said we loved each other.
“Two days before that they said they’d thrown the kitchen sink at him, that it was time to make plans because he was in God’s hands and such but he beats the odds again and they gave him an under 10 percent survival chance ... he really is something else.”
Mr. Gibb’s doctors released a statement on Sunday in which they praised his “iron will”, although the outlook remained uncertain as he received more treatment for advanced bowel cancer, pneumonia and liver failure.
His wife Dwina said Mr. Gibb was in “fantastic” form. “He is laughing, he is joking, he is really happy,” she told ITV.
“He just wants to get out. He has been very naughty because he pulled his feeding tube out so the nurses will have to put it back in again but he wants ice cream ... he wants all kinds of things. It’s good anyway.”