The Bay City Rollers talk about their 1970s heyday

The Bay City Rollers rolled back the years tonight (May 29) to talk about their 1970s heyday.

The Edinburgh pop veterans appeared in Where Are They Now? The Reunions – a one-off ITV documentary reuniting the stars of film, TV and music from different eras over the last 40 years.

One of the biggest bands on the planet for a short but fervent period in the 1970s, the Rollers enjoyed worldwide hits with Bye Bye Baby, Shang-a-Lang, Keep On Dancing and Summerlove Sensation.

In Where Are They Now? The Reunions, we caught up with key bandmembers Les McKeown, Alan Longmuir and Stuart ‘Woody’ Wood as they reunited for a comeback gig in Edinburgh – and then reminisced about their time in the spotlight.

Bassist Alan Longmuir said: “We never realised how big it was going to be. It was great.”

After three years at the top, the wheels came off the Rollers’ bandwagon and they split up.

Having sold an estimated 100 million records, it was assumed the tartan-clad superstars were multi-millionaires – but sadly, that wasn’t the case.

The band claimed they were owed millions in unpaid royalties, and they became embroiled in a well-documented dispute with their record label and manager Tam Paton, who died in 2009.

Recalling this dark period in their history, McKeown said: “It was a disaster, we all dried up. The payments for my house stopped and the next thing people were throwing me and my family out on the street.”

By the mid 80s, drummer Derek Longmuir had become a nurse, while brother Alan fell back on his handyman skills. Guitarist Eric Faulkner continued to perform and Wood also stayed in the music business.

Wood said: “I’ve never stopped playing music or been involved in the industry. I’ve got a record label and I am always recording, I couldn’t do anything else.”

McKeown attempted to make a comeback in the 80s as a solo artist, but was hampered by his personal demons.

He recalled: “I just went in to a kind of free-fall period, too much drinking which turned into extreme too much drinking, I barely got a good review.”

After McKeown suffered a health scare, a reunion was announced last year, triggering a new wave of Rollermania when they played a string of comeback gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh before going on to be honoured with a Living Legends award at Scotland’s music industry Oscars.

As reported on AAA recently, the Rollers are currently in the recording studio hard at work on their eagerly-awaited new album. The band are also set to play at this year’s T in the Park festival in July.

Also featured in Where Are They Now? The Reunions were 1980s reggae outfit Musical Youth and Walthamstow-based 1990s boy band East 17.