IT WAS incredibly sad when we lost Alan Longmuir, the original Bay City Roller, earlier this year.
It all seemed so sudden. One day he was celebrating his 70th birthday with family, a short time later he’d gone.
He left us before he had the chance to see his autobiography published. He’d been working on in with acclaimed author Martin Knight in the weeks leading up to his death.
Later this month, I Ran With The Gang: My Life In and Out of The Bay City Rollers will be published by Luath Press.
As the publicity blurb reminds, ‘The Bay City Rollers were one of the brightest things to happen in the tumultuous 1970s, illuminating a dark decade marred by falling stock markets, a plummeting economy and industrial unrest.
‘Alan Longmuir, an apprentice plumber from Edinburgh, was inspired by The Beatles to form a band.
‘In I Ran with the Gang, Alan recounts his incredible journey from the Dalry back streets to the Hollywood hills and back again.
‘Along the way, he punctures some of the myths and untruths that have swirled around the group, and unflinchingly tells of the acrimony and exploitation that led to the disintegration of the band.
‘Most of all, though, Alan captures the great adventure of five young boys from Edinburgh who for a few heady years threatened to turn the whole world tartan.’
Three launch events have been organised to ensure that Alan’s story gets the recognition it deserves and I am proud to have been asked to host all three, interviewing Martin about the book and the time he spent with Alan while co-writing it. There will also be a Q&A session at each event.
The first is on Thursday 22 November at Blackwell’s Bookshop on South Bridge. Join Martin and myself for an evening of Rollermania at 6.30pm.
The following day, Friday 23 November, there will be another chance to purchase your copy of the book and indulge in all things tartan at Espionage on Victoria Street, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
Again, Martin will talk to me about the highs of Rollermania and Alan’s life after running with the tartan gang.
This highly anticipated event will be a mix of seating and standing so please arrive in plenty time as seats are on a first come first served basis.
However, Luath Press have also told me that those ‘with mobility issues that would require a seat’ can contact firstname.lastname@example.org in advance.’
Unfortunately due to the venue being a listed building, there is no disabled access.
Finally, on Sunday 25 November, join Alan’s fans, family and friends in his local for the Bannockburn launch of his book at McQ’s, also known as The Tartan Arms.
This afternoon event, at 2.30pm, will prove an emotional climax to the book’s launch tour.
So don your tartan, come along, say hello and, as Alan always said, “Don’t let the music die”.
All events are free but ticketed, register at www.eventbrite.co.uk