Fans to mark 40 years of Bay City Rollers

The Bay City Rollers in 1975. Picture: PA
The Bay City Rollers in 1975. Picture: PA
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THEY spread hysteria amongst women everywhere in the 1970s – and the Bay City Rollers’ fans aren’t ready to say Bye, Bye Baby to their heart-throb heroes just yet.

It’s been 40 years since the tartan-clad popsters first burst on to the music scene, and now a special celebration is being held in their home city to mark the milestone.

Bay City Rollers fan Anne Fairless with Dave Herron. Picture: Comp

Bay City Rollers fan Anne Fairless with Dave Herron. Picture: Comp

Original singer Les McKeown will be the star attraction when he makes a guest appearance at the convention this summer.

Fans are expected to flock from as far afield as Japan and the USA before donning their own tartan outfits and Rolling down memory lane.

Les, 58, will take part in a question and answer session and pose for pictures during the fundraiser for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation and Buchan Community Radio, a self-funding community broadcaster based in Peterhead.

He refused to rule out rumours former bandmate, bassist Alan Longmuir, will make a rare public appearance – and said he might just be tempted to step up to the mic for a karaoke sing-song.

Les said: “When I used to drink I used to have a go. I don’t mind having a laugh – the fans are well-natured fans and they mean well. They look after me when I go to gigs.

“You still pretend to be 17 to 18 again and that’s the whole point – I get dressed up in tartan and play the music and we all have a great time tripping back.”

Fans can expect everything from a Bay City Rollers quiz to a disco when they turn up at the Crowne Plaza Roxburghe Hotel, in Charlotte Square, on July 20.

Les said he expected an atmosphere similar to the good old days, when Rollers songs such as Give a Little Love and Shang-A-Lang soared high in the pop charts.

He said: “Edinburgh in the 70s was awash with tartan-clad young girls and we used to get mail which was just posted to ‘The Bay City Rollers, Scotland’.

“We were very proud to be Scottish and we did a lot for tartan which exploded after we started wearing it and it’s still such a fashion icon – it’s beautiful.

“I’m looking forward to coming and having a bit of fun – let’s leave the sanity at the door.”

Co-organisers, Dave Herron, a voluntary radio presenter at Buchan Community Radio, and long-standing fan, Anne Fairless, both 51, also plan to add a sightseeing walking tour and a ghost tour to raise funds for the charities.

Mr Herron, who expects the convention to sell out, has been running The Bay City Rollers radio show every Wednesday for the last five months, dedicated to the band’s music and often featuring Les himself.

He said: “We are up to 1600 members on the Facebook group for the radio show – I have been working as a DJ for a long time and did not realise that it was enormous, so we started doing this radio show and we have listeners from Japan, USA and all over Europe.

“It’s unbelievable – it’s still a massive thing and I still can’t explain what it is about them that makes them so popular, but the magic is still there.”

Mr Herron said he had been “converted” to the Rollers after hosting the show and was excited to hold the event.

“I think it’s just the music because it related to a lot of people of different ages,” he added.

Ms Fairless, who describes herself as “the fan”, said she was only 11 when she first fell in love with the band.

“They came along at the right time – I was at that age where it was great with the Scotland theme and the fact they were all good looking lads and the music was really hippy. I just kind of got caught up in Rollermania,” she said.

“I have just always been a fan. When it’s part of your childhood you grow up with them – we used to say Shang-A-Lang was Scotland’s second national anthem.”