How Alan Longmuir went from breakfast with Barbara Streisand.. to plumbing inspections in Dundee

May 17, 2014 – 11:09 am
AlanAlan says his Fringe show is a bit of fun and nostalgia

ONE Minute Alan Longmuir was partying with Dean Martin and Barbra Streisand.

The next he was fitting pipes and inspecting plumbing.

But the former Bay City Roller bassist says he wouldn’t change a thing about the boyband rollercoaster that began almost 50 years ago.

Alan was the quiet member of the band during their turbulent heyday, with its controversies and legal battles, and is revealing all about that time in a show at the Edinburgh Fringe.

He said: “We were like One Direction. I see the similarities but they are actually being managed better. They’re probably getting paid.

“At one point we had 17 girls just to answer our mail in our fan club for us.

“In Hollywood, the record company gave us our own house and flash cars in LA. I had breakfast with Barbra Streisand and my birthday party had Britt Ekland at it.

Bay City Rollers Rock Group“We were at the Grease premiere with Olivia Newton John and supported the Bee Gees and we had Elton John’s phone number.

“He was a friend and so was Billy Connolly . I even starred in a film called Burning Rubber in South Africa.”

He added: “One time in 78, Woody and Eric and I were with Dean Martin and he took us to dinner in MGM – and then the waiter came down and said, ‘Mr Longmuir, I know Mr Martin is paying the bill but not the tip’. I had to pay it – about $50.

Bay City Rollers Rock Group

“One minute you’re in Hollywood and fit as anything. I’ve had two heart attacks and a stroke in 1995 and I’ve just got to watch myself. They weren’t big ones but I was stressed out over monetary things and worry.

When One Direction made Little Things a No1 hit, Fiona Bevan's life was transformed overnight“Life is fate though and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

As the original Bay City Roller who thought up the band’s name, Alan, 67, admits he got fed-up with music and has only stepped back into the ­spotlight after being encouraged by his wife Eileen.

Alan once owned a small farm and a hotel but that is long gone and as a plumber to trade, he retrained as a bylaws inspector when the band split in 2000. He said: “I’ve always kept quiet and I never really bothered with things to do with the music after 2000. It was a lot of hassle.

“It was too much effort for too little back but my wife Eileen gave me a kick up the ass to do things. I went back to plumbing and then I retrained as a bylaws inspector in Dundee before I was made redundant.

“It was a great job and I went about in a wee Postman Pat van. Nobody bothered you.”

Alan has made his peace with his rock’n’roll past and part of that is starring in the show I Ran With The Gang at Le Monde, in Edinburgh, where he recalls the maddest of the adventures.

As he said: “This new show is a bit of fun and nostalgia.”

Looking at the shy and slightly weary figure in ­Edinburgh’s Le Monde Hotel now, it’s hard to believe the mania that surrounded Alan and the fact that girls fought among themselves to get into his room. He chuckles as he recalls two who managed to do just that – and hid under his bed. The glint in his eye explains the rest.

And then there were the drugs.

Alasdair MacLeod/Daily Record

Alan thinks the Rollers were a lot like One Direction in their heyday


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