The Bay City Rollers have vowed to pay a heartfelt tribute to band founder Alan Longmuir when they play a hometown gig in front of thousands in Edinburgh this weekend.
Lead singer Les McKeown told the Evening News the Rollers’ appearance at Ingliston on the opening night of the Scotfest festival on Friday will be dedicated to the memory of his bandmate. Former rock star Alan died in hospital after contracting a bug on holiday in Cancun, Mexico.
Les was at Alan’s bedside just hours before his friend passed away on Monday morning at the age of 70.
But Les, 62, vowed the show will go on when the Rollers appear on the bill to support the Jacksons in what is billed as Scotland’s biggest family festival.
He said: “I won’t let him disappear, we all loved Alan, he was one of the original Rollers.
“He got on with everybody and everyone lit up when he strolled on to the stage, he was a laid back and cool guy.”
He added: “Alan was a trooper and he said nothing would stop him from going up on stage so I will make sure I’m on stage dedicating it to him.
“We plan on projecting pictures of Alan and the guys having fun and joking around at our shows to show people a good image of Alan.
“We’ve had to change things around a little bit but we’ve prepared for things changing and the best way to do the show.”
And Les revealed he had planned to play together with Alan again in 2019 in the Capital.
“In springtime we’re playing at the King’s Theatre. Alan would’ve been playing at that so we will definitely tribute Alan in all Scottish and UK shows that we have coming up.
“I’d like to remember his family, especially Eileen since she was in Mexico with him and didn’t leave him for the whole three weeks, Eileen, his brother Derek and also his sister and the rest of the family.”
Meanwhile fellow former band member and fellow founder of The Bay City Rollers, Nobby Clark, told how he regretted not seeing Alan before he lost his fight with the illness, when he had heard reports of him taking ill following his holiday in Mexico.
Nobby Clark formed the band, originally called The Saxons, along with Alan and Derek Longmuir in 1966 when they met at Tynecastle High School and sang on all the early hits before he was replaced by Les McKeown in 1974.
Nobby said: “I had a very sad day today as me and Alan were very close friends.
“I didn’t know whether to go and see Alan when I heard he was quite ill. I’m really, really sad I never got to go see him. Him and I through all the years were so close, so close.
“Me and Alan held the band together through very difficult times.
“We had a few changes in the early days, two or three people came into the band and they didn’t last very long. There was a lot of strain when we were working all over the country and getting involved with a record company, we had a massive fallout.”
Nobby Clark heard about Alan’s passing when he received a phone call from a friend, he said: “I will always remember Alan fondly and as a very close friend.”