I was listening to the Bay City Rollers in my car yesterday while driving home from my parent’s house in Owen Sound, singing along with Rock and Roll Love Letter. I was thinking about how there was a time in my life when I was too embarrassed to admit I had ever even liked them.
But when I was a kid, I lived and breathed the Bay City Rollers. Their pictures adorned my bedroom walls. I listened to their albums continuously and had the full “Rollers” uniform – tam, scarf and pants trimmed with tartan. My mother would wake me up in the middle of the night so I could watch their appearances on late-night programs like The Midnight Special.
The Bay City Rollers were the first band I ever saw live. I saw them on August 11, 1976, at Maple Leaf Gardens and August 22, 1977, at Exhibition Stadium.
The man who started it all, Bay City Rollers founder Alan Longmuir, died today at the age of 70.
I Ran With The Gang
Alan had left the Rollers in early 1976, before when I saw them live. He did reunite briefly with lead singer Les McKeown and guitarist Stuart “Woody” Wood for several concert dates in 2015. And in 2016, the LRStageworks production of I Ran With The Gang, The Story of Original Bay City Roller Alan Longmuir, made its international debut in Toronto.
My friend Kathy Connor, who knew Alan personally and was largely responsible for bringing the I Ran With The Gang show to Toronto twice, expressed her thoughts on Alan’s passing. “He was a gentle soul, proud to have called him friend. Thank-you Alan for all the joy you have brought into my life. So honored I was a small part in the telling of your story. I love you, till we meet again.”
Alan was described by other fans who had met him as a “kind, lovely man” who will be deeply missed.
Thanks Alan – listening to you and the “gang” are some of my happiest childhood memories. Bye bye baby – rest in peace.