‘Another Day to Swing on Clothes Lines’

The Bee Gees and Australia


  • Pat O'Grady Macquarie University




The Bee Gees, nationhood, Cultural Production, masculinity


A large proportion of overseas-born artists comprise the pop music industries in Australia. Keith Urban, Rick Springfield, members of Cold Chisel, The Angels and Masters Apprentices, for example, not only represent themselves as ‘Australian;’ they are frequently associated with the nation by critics and audiences. The Bee Gees also exemplify this trend. In this article, I wish to bring into focus The Bee Gees’ curious connection with Australia. In order to do this task, I ask a series of questions; first, what is The Bee Gees connection to Australia? Second, how has this connection been constructed and continually reinforced? Third, what forms of discursive resistance against their ‘Australianness’ exist in regard to these constructions? And finally, how might we critically understand the tensions that have emerged regarding their legitimacy as an ‘Australian band’? I argue that their connection to Australia is continually renegotiated due in large part to their incompatibility with dominant performances of masculinity by Australian white male musicians.

Author Biography

  • Pat O'Grady, Macquarie University

    Dr Pat O’Grady has a PhD in music from Macquarie University. He works as a professional musician and teaches music and media subjects at Macquarie. His research examines the cultural practices associated with pop music production and consumption


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How to Cite

O'Grady, P. (2017). ‘Another Day to Swing on Clothes Lines’: The Bee Gees and Australia. Perfect Beat, 18(1), 29-47. https://doi.org/10.1558/prbt.31733