Ex-Bay City Rollers members tell fans they can ‘forget’ about future reunion

Fans of the Bay City Rollers have been told to “forget all about” the prospect of another reunion – by two surviving members of its classic line-up.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 1:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 8:02 am

Les McKeown and Stuart Wood said there was no prospect of them getting back together on stage due to lingering ill-feeling in the wake of the collapse of a much-publicised comeback in 2016.

Both claimed they were content to be on tour with their own bands performing the Rollers’ hits, which include Shang a Lang, Saturday Night and Bye Bye Baby.

Rollers fans have been dealt the blow weeks ahead of the release of a greatest hits album bringing together more than 50 tracks, including all 12 of their UK hit singles.

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From left, Stuart Wood, Les McKeown and the late Alan Longmuir outside Glasgow Barrowland in 2015.

McKeown, Wood and the late Alan Longmuir were the only members of the “classic line-up” to reunite in 2015, their first proper show since a one-off gig in 1999, initially for a series of sell-out shows at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom and then for extensive UK tours.


Alan’s brother Derek and Eric Faulkner, who were in the Rollers during their 1970s heyday, declined to take part in the comeback gigs in 2015 and 2016. McKeown and Wood put long-standing differences – including the former being booted off stage by the latter in Tokyo in 1978 – behind them for the reunion.

Music industry mogul John McLaughlin was lining up an overseas tour for the reunited Rollers before a furious behind-the-scenes bust-up at the T in the Park festival in Perthshire.

There were disputes during the making of a comeback album and a row before a TV interview over McKeown promoting his own solo album.

Hopes of another reunion have been dashed despite Alan Longmuir calling for the Rollers to “rise above all the old rubbish and come together one last time” in his autobiography, which was published posthumously a few months after his death in July 2018.

However, McKeown said he still blamed Wood for the split and said he could not imagine sharing a stage with him again in future.

The singer, 63, who famously walked out on the band in 1978 after five years as frontman, said: “The reunion project was an extra hassle for me at the time, but it definitely had the potential to bring in millions of pounds and feed the whole Bay City Rollers family.

“It didn’t really get the chance to do it and it failed because of the attitude of some of the people involved. It’s a shame what happened.

“At the end of the day I have to think about myself and my band and my situation. I have to ask myself: ‘Is this too much hassle?’ I’m happy doing my own thing. I’m too long in the tooth now, I’m enjoying it and I’m in control of everything.

“In terms of any future reunion, my answer would be ‘no’. The opportunity was there a few years ago, everything was rocking with the tour, the album and all the publicity. All the ducks were lined up in a row and then one of them decided to play silly buggers.

“I just don’t have time for people like Woody now. He’s a guy I knew who I was in a band with, but he has a completely different attitude to showbusiness than I do.

“You can’t make divorcees like each other once they are divorced. The fans should forget all about any kind reunion. It’s just not going to happen.”

Wood, 62, said: “From the bottom of my heart, I just can’t see another reunion happening. There was a time when I would have thought it was worth giving it a go. We did it and it was the same old nonsense. Never again.

“The only thing I would do it for would be to get a bigger pair of boots and kick him even harder off the stage.

“What happened was purely down to Les being greedy and looking out for his own ends. I wouldn’t put myself through that nonsense again.”