Alan Longmuir, founding bass player with the Bay City Rollers, the Scottish ‘70s pop phenomenon, has died following a brief illness. He was 70.
The so-called “tartan teen sensations from Edinburgh” are said to have sold more than 100 million albums in a career which exploded on both sides the Atlantic. They’ve been described as the One Direction their era.
Longmuir formed the band, initially known as the Saxons, back in 1966 with his younger brother and drummer Derek, and singer Gordon “Nobby” Clark. The lineup went through multiple changes through the years, with Longmuir leaving the band in 1976 and returning two years later, after which time he alternated between bass duties, rhythm guitar and keys. In its heyday, the band scored three top 10s in the U.S., including a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Saturday Night,” in 1976. And in the U.K., the Rollers snagged No. 1s with “Bye Bye Baby” and “Give a Little Love” (both from 1975) and saw ten songs hit the Top 10. The band split in 1981.
Longmuir reportedly died at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Scotland on Monday morning (July 2) surrounded by family and friends. He was flown home three weeks ago after falling ill on holiday in Mexico.
The band confirmed his passing with a post on social media. “Our sincere condolences to all his family, friends and fans,” the message reads. Longmuir's friend and biographer Liam Rudden described him as “one the most gentle, generous and kind-hearted people I've ever known”.
Longmuir was part a reunion in late 2015 with Les McKeown and Stuart Wood, which was promoted as “a very special Christmas present to all the fans that have kept the faith with the band over the years.”