Bass player with the Bay City Rollers

Born: June 20, 1948;

Died: July 2, 2018

ALAN Longmuir, who has died aged 70, was one of the original Bay City Rollers, the Scottish band that took the world by storm in the early Seventies. Their first hit Keep On Dancin’ signalled a string of pop successes to come.

The Bay City Rollers would go on to sell tartan pop across the world with massive hits including Bye Bye Baby and Shang-a-Lang. At the height of their success the Rollers sold 120 million records, finding success in the UK, US, Australia and Japan.

They created a fashion form in Rollermania, where tartan teamed up with the outfits of the day. They even had their own TV show.

Alan Longmuir, the son of an Edinburgh undertaker, did not set out to become world famous, but he did say later that music was in his DNA. His aunt was a gifted pianist and his father an accordion player. At the age of ten young Alan fell in love with rock n’ roll when he watched Elvis on TV in Jailhouse Rock.

International pop success was not on the cards however when the teenaged1 Longmuir began working life as an apprentice plumber. But he could not surrender the love for music. Aged 17, he formed The Saxons, with his brother Derek, cousin Neil Porteous and Dave Pettigrew.

The band later changed its name to the Bay City Rollers, the result of sticking a pin in a map of the USA, and its line-up, to incorporate Les McKeown, Stuart Wood and Eric Faulkner.

Managed by infamous Edinburgh businessman Tam Paton, The Rollers raced up the charts. In 1973, the boys from Edinburgh had a massive hit with Remember and went on to release a string of hugely successful songs including All Of Me Loves All Of You, Shang-a-Lang and I Only Want To Be With You.

Their cover of Bye Bye Baby enjoyed six weeks on the UK Singles Chart in 1975 and sold a million copies. They also scored a US No.1 with their song Saturday Night.

Yet, while Rollermania took the world by storm with a mix of music and tartan fashion, the band members realised their lives were no longer their own.

Tam Paton was sexually abusing singer Lew McKeown and the band members argued they were being paid a pittance in royalties.

Alan Longmuir could not cope with the pressures of success, and the demands made on him. He left the band in 1976 and his departure caused so much hysteria amongst fans it prompted questions in the House of Commons about how one pop star could have so much influence over young people.

"I was getting depressed. I couldn't take it anymore," said Longmuir of the time in a BBC Scotland documentary of 2015.

Longmuir went back to his bandmates two years later, but the band imploded in 1978 and bitter legal battles about money dragged on for years.

However, Longmuir returned to the stage in 2014, to appear in a show based on his life - And I Ran With the Gang - at the Edinburgh Fringe, which featured some of the band's biggest hits.

And time proved to be a great healer and he joined a one-off concert of the Bay City Rollers at the Edinburgh Hogmanay event in 1999 which led to further reunion gigs in 2015 and 2016, including a show at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro on December 11.

However, that was to be the band's last comeback, as Wood and Longmuir were said to have been unhappy at singer McKeown continuing to tour without them and promoting his own material.

At the age of 70 Alan Longmuir returned from his Mexican holiday with wife Eileen a very ill man. He died at Forth Valley Hospital in Larbert.

Mr Longmuir's friend and biographer, Liam Rudden, described him on Twitter as "one of the most gentle, generous and kind-hearted people I've ever known".

He added, "He would humbly say he was 'just a plumber from Edinburgh who got lucky'". Liam Rudden noted that Alan Longmuir "touched the lives of all he met with a smile that made them feel special".

Les McKeown said he had been with his friend at Forth Valley Hospital just a few hours before he died. “He was a true original, one of a kind. He will be sorely missed by many, many people.”

Guitarist Stuart "Woody" Wood said: “Very sad to hear Alan has passed away.I’ll remember the good times we had for over 40 years. RIP Al.”

Alan Longmuir is survived by his wife Eileen, step sons Nik and Kyle, sisters Betty and Alice and brother Derek. He is also survived by Jordan, his son with his first wife Jan.