The Bay City Rollers
With so many media outlets available to quench your thirst for vital information, it is almost impossible to stay even borderline topical these days. With the myriad of options like multiple cable news stations, newspapers online, Yahoo news and flyers from a real estate agent who thinks you should sell your house, how is one expected to stay current?
I say this because a very important news item got buried this month with all the buzz about the Pope’s U.S. visit, a little Volkswagen issue, National elections and of course the continuing controversies on Dancing with the Stars.
So here is the most exciting piece of news I have read in decades, The Bay City Rollers are reuniting. Many said it would never happen, many said it’s too good to be true while most said who are the Bay City Rollers?
Well The Bay City Rollers were a pop music phenomena of the mid 1970s that for a moment, made young impressionable teen age girls ignore their cool friend’s Led Zeppelin albums. This tartan wearing Scottish band created plaid hysteria that will never be duplicated in spite of today’s current popularity of argyle sweaters.
The screaming of the devoted fans inevitably forced comparisons to a little thing called Beatlemania from the early 1960s.The Bay City Rollers were dubbed The Next Beatles. In retrospect there have far too many bands unfairly labeled as “The Next Beatles”. The Monkees, The Knack, Oasis, The Spice Girls have all been cursed with that unattainable title. The popularity of NKOTB, The Back Street Boys, NSYNC, and the current One Direction, suggests every teenage generation deserves their very own boy band, to help distract from nightly homework duties. The two strict criteria to become a boy band are clear. You must be a boy, and you must be in a band.
I had a cousin who lived in Ottawa who somehow became the president of the Canadian chapter of the Bay City Roller fan club. In 1976 this position, was only two steps away from the role of Prime Minister of Canada. My cousin would often argue the cuteness factor of the band members Eric vs. Woody, as other cousins quickly found reasons to leave the room.
I speak with more than a little authority on this subject. My wife is a closet Bay City Roller fan. By closet, I mean if you search our storage closet, right behind the well-preserved wedding dress, you will find tartan. This outfit was a uniform she proudly wore for a few months in the mid seventies. Like all former fans, she will deny its existence, the cock will crow three times, and she will confess with regret her participation in Rollermania. This outfit is just beside the hanger that hides my bell bottoms and satin shirt, ready to wear if disco ever makes the deserved comeback I anticipate.
The Bay City Rollers have had documentaries produced to expose the cruelties of the pop music world. Law suits for unpaid royalties, scandals regarding manager corruption, and the inevitable sex drug and rock and roll stories have tartar tainted their brief sweet legacy. But none of that matters now, because they are reunititng.
Their impact on music can be argued, but not their ability to spell. S A T U R D A Y Night, is played relentlessly on all 70’s radio stations including the trendy Sirius Satellite option. International fame was achieved, and somewhere in the attic of most fifty year old women today, is a very scratched album that exposes the dedication to the band.
All bands with even the slightest status on the long forgotten Top 40 Charts, feel an obligation to their fans to do it again. The Who at last count have reunited 27 times to remind baby boomers of the unfilled promises of My Generation. Go to any casino with a connected makeshift auditorium and I promise you there will be a band playing songs from your youth.
The cute thing about bands reuniting, is the acceptance that all former members do not need to be participating in this idea in order for it to occur. (For much greater insight into this phenomena, Please read my blog https://breakingwell.com/2015/04/06/were-not-in-kansas-anymore/). If enough time has passed, the memory of how their songs made you feel far outweighs the accuracy of the current line up of the reunion.
This formula is as old as time. Great literature, movies and theatrical plays have relied on the plot, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. The music version of this is band plays songs, band breaks up, band reunites and plays the same songs. I am not being cynical or callous here. As movies have now totally changed their approach to this tired formula. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy becomes a zombie, is now a much more accepted plot arc.
So there it is, a piece of news that might drastically change your future entertainment plans. The Bay City Rollers may be coming to a town near you, and if you check Ticketmaster hourly, you might be able to acquire front row seats to a band who have yet to cash in on this reunion craze. If this long forgotten group of fifty to sixty year old Scottish lads are performing on a S A T U R D A Y night in your town, it could turn out to be the greatest musical event of your life.
Cue the Blong: Channelling my inner Bay City Roller muse is not as easy to do as it sounds.