BYLINE: By Alan Hunter
THE euphoria of seventies music returned to Edinburgh yesterday, with a visit
by two musicians from one of its home-grown bands. Bay City who? The Rollers,
as they were also known, were as big then as Boyzone and the Spice Girls
are today. Two musicians from the original group, Alan Longmuir, its bass
player, and guitarist Stewart "Woodie" Wood visited the Music 100 exhibition
at the City Art Centre. Older, and, in their own words, wiser, they played
down suggestions that the Bay City Rollers would be getting back together
again. Despite the revival of interest in sixties and seventies music, with
a Brit award won by the Bee Gees and a comeback tour by sixties band The
Monkees, they said future appearances of their group was only a possibility.
Longmuir is recovering from a stroke, at the age of 48, which has left him
with leg movement problems and was only released from Stirling Royal Infirmary
two weeks ago. Colleague Wood, now 40, was upbeat about his friend's forecast
that he will make a full recovery. Wood married his artist girlfriend a week
ago, and the two musicians have been writing and rehearsing, having completed
two major tours of Japan and the USA last year. Acrimony involving their
previous manager, and other members of the group saw them fall from grace.
Their most famous hit songs, Bye Bye Baby, and Give a Little Love, were number
one hit singles for several weeks in the pop charts, closely followed by
songs like Shang-A-Lang and Money Honey, not entirely forgotten, as they
explained yesterday. Said Stewart: "Last year we played in Tokyo to an audience
whose ages ranged from 20 to 50, and in New York, we had a audience of 12,000
at Westchester, near New York." Asked about the possibility of a get-together,
he said: "We are not back together yet, but it is not an impossibility. Anything
is possible. "We have many legal matters to thrash out, but we are chatting
to the other original members of the band, and that's good. "Who knows what
may come from it?"
The musicians toured the exhibition which celebrates 100 years of recorded sound at the centre, naturally taking in their own seventies era, watching a video of Abba, Gary Glitter and Boney M - which includes a performance of their own.