Bay City Rollers fan Dale Roach, who last met them nine yers ago, looks back...
"It's a teenage dream to be 17 and to find you're all wrapped up in love" ...so begins one of the Bay City Rollers' biggest hits. When I heard the Rollers were to tour Australia again, I was immediately shot back 10 years to that time. Yet again I was the crazy, devoted Roller fan buying any magazine withjust a mention of their name, living by the radio in the hope of hearing one of their songs.
They gave me so much, as they did all their fans, friendships with so many people - friends I have to this day - and a wonderful sense of fun.
I don't think I can define what it was that made me and hundreds of thousands of fans love them like we did. Nobody since the Beatles has made their mark on our lives or created the kind of hysteria that the Bay City Rollers did.
Now their fans are adults with families of their own. I'm married to fellow Roller fan martin Roach and we have a year old son James.
Nine years ago, aged 16, I wrote to the Women's Weekly and asked if I could interview the BCR as a fan.
The Weekly fulfilled my dream and I met them for lunch.
Recently I again wrote to the Weekly to see if I could do a follow-up interview.
This time I spoke to them in the dimness of a pub. I couldn't help thinking aloud that not so long ago, fans would have killed for a chance to be sitting sipping coffee with THEM... Leslie McKeown (lead singer), Eric Faulkner (manager and accoustic guitar), Pat McGlynn (bass guitar), Ian Mitchell (accoustic guitar), George Spencer (drummer) and "Woody" - Stuart Wood (pianist).
Woody laughed, "It was great being adored like that. We were just a big gang and kind of special. We can't explain the effect on our fans. People who weren't at that age missed the point, I suppose. We were something to identify with. Our tartan image wasn't manufactured: the tartan trimmings were all we could afford!"
"We didn't want to split up when we did," said Woody (in 1978), "but it was the only way to get out of certain contracts that we signed when we were 17 and naive. We re-formed on and off for concerts."
Now the Tartan Terrors from Scotland, who had a string of hits in the '70s, have re-emerged looking and sounding older and wiser.
"Why tour Australia - and is this a new beginning?" I asked Eric. "Why not?" he replied. "We're here to say we're back together, we're deadly serious, we have a new album out and there is life after the hysteria."
They have a new single out called "When you find out" and a new LP, "Breakout '85". "We wrote all the songs on the album," said Eric. "Our musical direction has changed a lot. The songs are a bit blacker, funkier and great to dance to."
Concerts have sold out all over the country and the tartan never stops waving. I have a feeling we're going to see a lot more of the Bay City Rollers.