Alan Longmuir: Happy days with Eileen and the Bay City Rollers' reunion
I DON'T just believe, I know that if I hadn't met Eileen when I did, I'd not be here now.
I was drinking myself into a premature grave, had lost self-confidence and self-esteem and had not a penny to my name. My depression was never too far from the surface.
The positive things that started to happen to me again can be traced back to the time I entered into a relationship with Eileen. It can’t be a coincidence.
We met in 1994 and married in 1998. The years of living in hotels, fractured sleep patterns, bad diet, stress and drinking had taken its toll on my health, though.
In 1995, I had a heart attack which wasn’t life-threatening but it was a wake-up call that didn’t completely wake me up - two years later I had a stroke.
However, some very positive things were starting to happen. In 1999 the Bay City Rollers reformed and played together for the first time in some years, at the Millennium Hogmanay knees-up.
There was a wonderful symmetry to the evening because it was at the Princes Street bandstand that we made our very first public performance all those years ago.
“I entered the new century as a newly and very happily married man, my love for the band I had formed over 30 years earlier reawakened.
In the last few years Liam Rudden has come into my life and lifted my spirits further.
He persuaded me to appear in his I Ran With The Gang Fringe show based on my life, we have also taken it to Toronto. I cannot adequately describe how thrilling the whole experience has been.
In 2015, John McLaughlin, record producer, songwriter and all-round talented man and good guy offered to manage us if we reformed. Myself, Les and Woody did so and the reception was phenomenal.
I was 67 years old. The council had decided I was too old to be a Byelaws Inspector. My bones had decided I was too old to be a jobbing plumber. Yet here I was, rocking on stage to an enthusiastic audience of mothers, many who had brought their grown-up children and, dare I say it, grandchildren.
And that is where I am today, in a very lovely place. I play occasional gigs with Les’s Legendary Bay City Rollers and I absolutely adore it. The reception we get is magnificent and the fans wrap us up in a blanket of love.
Many were there in the 1970s and there is a bond of that shared experience of something very special that neither they, or we, ever fully understood.
Les and I exchange warm smiles on stage and know that, for all the ups and downs, we love each other too. Best of all, he pays me.
It would be the icing on this wonderful cake if us creaking old Rollers could lay our ghosts to rest, rise above all the old rubbish and come together one last time and not let the music die.
That would delight me. After all, we are not getting younger and one of us will be the first to go, and statistically that’s me.
I Ran With The Gang: My Life In and Out of The Bay City Rollers by Alan Longmuir with Martin Knight is published by Luath Press in hardback, priced £14.99