Now it’s the GREY City Rollers: 1970s heartthrobs make a surprise comeback 40 years after they stormed the charts with Bye Bye Baby
- Three members of the hit band announced comeback tour in December
- Stuart John Wood, Les McKeown and Alan Longmuir will be in the band
- Ageing stars, 58, 59 and 67, will start tour in Glasgow this December
- Said that one more member of the former fivesome may join in
It would seem it is not Bye Bye Baby for the Bay City Rollers as the 70s boyband are set to make a surprise comeback.
Three members of the original line-up are reuniting almost 40 years on from the height of their fame.
Formed at the end of the 1960s, the Scottish group sold over 100million records and secured worldwide success with upbeat pop tunes like Bye Bye Baby and Shang-a-Lang.
Despite their worldwide success sparking ‘Rollermania’ the members of the Bay City Rollers have not been left well-off due to disputes over royalties. Court cases on the matter are still on-going.
Lead singer Les McKeown yesterday suggested that money troubles may have played a part in their reunion.
He said: ‘I think the three of us have made dreams come true and the fans are the reason that we’re doing it – that and the money of course.’
But he joked: ‘We’ll probably never see a penny. It’ll be a repeat of the last 40 years.’
He blamed their predicament on ‘awful, terrible management and a lot of thieves around us taking advantage of us.’
Yesterday the band said they ‘were bigger than One Direction’ in their heyday and announced their return with a new album and Christmas gig in Glasgow.
The group began to falter after splitting from McKeown in 1978 among rising tensions between the squabbling members.
But showing no sign of hard-feelings, the frontman, now 59, posed for a thumbs-up picture yesterday with returning members bassist Alan Longmuir, 67, and guitarist Stuart Wood, 58.
McKeown left the band not long after a disastrous performance in Japan which ended in an on-stage brawl. His fellow Rollers, who is married to Peko and has one son, supposedly turned off his spotlight and changed key without warn-ing so he sounded out of tune.
He said yesterday: ‘Stuff happened but we’ve put it in the past and will leave it in the past, and we’ve had time to talk to each other as grownups.
‘There were important emotional scars but it’s not something that you can’t get over.’ He added with a smile: ‘Especially when there’s huge amounts of money involved!’
Wood insisted that better days were ahead for the band, saying: ‘The curse has been lifted, we’re writing the last chapter.’
McKeown had a long battle with drink and drugs following the band’s break-up. Yesterday he contrasted it with the Rollers’ pure image created by their former manager, who insisted they on-ly drank milk at press conferences.
Picking up a glass of milk at the press conference, he joked: ‘We’ve gone full circle, ladies and gentlemen, we went from milk to alcohol to drugs and then back again.’
In the intervening years Alan Longmuir has worked as a plumber, a bylaws inspector and dabbled with acting. McKeown had continued to perform under the band name Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers and Wood has also stayed in the music industry.
The band said former guitarist Eric Faulkner, 61, may also join them in the coming weeks but ruled out an appearance from drummer Derek Longmuir, 64, the younger brother of bandmate Alan.
He changed careers after the band split and has been a cardiology nurse for the last 28 years. He escaped jail in 2000 after being caught in possession of child pornography.
The Bay City Rollers will kick off their reunion with a show at Glasgow Barrowland on December 20.