THE pop world's first boy band
is back - but on mature reflection the Bay City Rollers now prefer to be
called a "man band''. Their unlikely return comes more than 20 years after
they last figured in the charts with such hits as Shang-a-Lang and Give A
And this time they aim to avoid
the mistakes over drink, drugs, squabbling and sheer gullibility that led
to them losing out on £120million in royalties.
The Edinburgh-based Rollers,
who should be lazing in luxury on earnings from their 1974-1979 glory days,
instead drive beaten-up cars, have rented flats and eke out meagre
And the strain shows on the lined
faces of the group members - reduced to four following a decision to quit
by disillusioned Derek Longmuir, 45, who now works as a nurse.
But the four see themselves as
older and wiser. They certainly look older.
Lead singer Les McKeown, stockier
than in his platform-booted heyday, is wearing reasonably well at
Also 43 but grey-haired and
double-chinned, Eric Faulkner bears no likeness to his 1970s self. Still,
he keeps a sense of humour. Saving a man from suicide in 1989, Eric told
him: "You think you've got problems - I used to play guitar with the Bay
Keyboard player Alan Longmuir,
49, had a heart attack four years ago and is paralysed on one side after
Compared to Alan, bassman Woody
Wood seems fairly well preserved, if a little rougher than in his
They all recall the days when
the wee lads in rolled-up trousers, tight tops and blow-dried hairdos had
an amazing run of international success.
Some people made millions from
the phenomenon - but not the band, who claim they were victims of "one of
the biggest rock and roll rip-offs ever''. Former manager Tam Paton insists
that he can't be blamed.
Feuding and bitter court battles
ensued. And the singer went out on his own with a band known as Les McKeown's
Seventies Bay City Rollers.
But now the real Bay City Rollers
have united in a bid to recapture their fame - and finally make a
McKeown says: "We wasted a lot
of time being angry with each other.''
THEIR TEN TOP
Sept 1971 Keep On Dancing:
Feb 1974 Remember (Sha-La-La):
April 1974 Shang-a-Lang:
July 1974 Summerlove Sensation:
Oct 1974 All Of Me Loves All
Of You: No.4
March 1975 Bye Bye Baby:
July 1975 Give A Little Love:
Nov 1975 Money Honey: No.
April 1976 Love Me Like I Love
Sept 1976 I Only Wanna Be With
© MGN, Ltd, 1997,
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