By Julianna Reidell:
Ruth Bader Ginsburg/Barry Gibb Tribute Band “The RBeeGees” Releases Final Album
The Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away last September, gained a reputation as a feminist symbol in her later years-- a reputation that came with the nickname “Notorious R.B.G.”, a parody of the name of the famed rapper The Notorious B.I.G. Unbeknownst to the broader world, however, this was not the only musical connection made to Justice Ginsburg. Meet the RBeeGees, a trio of fans of 1970s disco hits, falsettos, and the most famous Supreme Court Justice since Thurgood Marshall.
“We don’t know a lot about the rap scene,” said one member of the band, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, and totally not because said member is actually the person writing this article. “But the BeeGees? TOTALLY our thing.”
The group formed in 2015 when the book Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg was published, and they have released a surplus of BeeGees-knockoff songs detailing the Justice’s life ever since. In January of 2020, a fifth album tackled what is arguably the BeeGees’ most famous song: Stayin’ Alive. Below is an excerpt of the lyrics from the RBeeGees.
Well, you can tell by the way that I dissent
I’ve a legal mind; I’m discontent
Too many conservatives; they all want my seat
Got to outlive
‘Em. Now it’s alright, its okay
I want to see the E.R.A.
So now let’s dance, get your groove on
‘Cause I’m a feminist icon
Whether you adore me or whether you abhor me
I’m stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel this country breakin’ and everybody shakin’
But I’m stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive,
Have-no-fear, I’m stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ aliiiiiiive….
The band, like every liberal in the country, was horrified when Justice Ginsburg died on September 18th of 2020.
“It was a dark, trying time,” admits the RBeeGees’ main songwriter, who also spoke anonymously for the same reason as their bandmate. “We all struggled. I myself bought five cats and a hundred aloe plants. My colleague developed a thing for grass-- not marijuana, just chewing grass like a big cow. RBG, our icon, our goddess, was gone. What could we do?!”
Once enough time had passed and the band had, with the help of their therapists, emerged from their downward emotional spirals, they realized the necessity of producing a final album.
“It’s a tribute piece, really,” said another bandmate, self-proclaimed “falsetto-champion” who also happens to work as a curator on The Milking Cat, “we wanted to give the Justice the best send-off possible, while also reaching out to other fans out there and saying ‘hey, we feel your pain.’”
“We definitely feel your pain,” agreed their songwriting colleague, “turns out I’m allergic to cats, and my hundred aloes all had baby aloes, and now my house is a big aloe vera mess. Anybody need some natural burn ointment?”
Here is an excerpt from the first song on the RBeeGees’ last album. Both song and album were given the same title: Tragedy.
Here I stand, on a terrible September night
An example of 2020’s vicious spite
Supreme Court, the bench is now one member short
I can’t believe that she is gone, she is gone
Justice RBG’s gone…
When RBG’s dead and you’ve lost your head
The world’s out of joint, who will Trump appoint
Now I’m in gloom
We’ve lost the best Justice, our country is doomed…
As for their plans now that their journey as the RBeeGees has come to an end?
“We’re thinking of trying hard rock with another Supreme Court Justice. Kind of an Amy Coney Barett meets AC/DC thing, because frankly, is there a more cringe-worthy band than AC/DC? Just think: AC/BC! … What do you mean we need to stop making parodies of things that are 40-50 years old? People don’t still listen to this music? Oh… really?! Oh. Well, what about a hip-hop musical starring Alexander Hamilton? … WHAT?!”