Search This Blog

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Don't Stop The Music: The Bay City Rollers On Record - Updated & Revised


Via amazon worldwide....

For better or for worse – and probably for the first time ever in print – the Bay City Rollers' records and their music are the focal points of this meticulous study by BCR aficionado Hannes A. Jonsson.
And through it all, the band's often incredible story is recounted via series of ill-fated reunions and acrimonious break-ups.
Furthermore, lesser known solo careers and side-projects are also visited, and so are several old acquaintances and collaborators of the group.
Detailed discographies and set lists are included as well.

Sparsely and briefly available a few years back, Don't Stop The Music: The Bay City Rollers On Record is now widely obtainable for the first time, and has additionally been updated and revised by the author.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

I Think I Love You: 1970s Teen Pop


Such pop music dynasties as The Osmonds, The Jacksons and the Cassidy’s may be synonymous with 1970s teen pop, but so are a handful of other entities – some better known than others.  From entries on outright obscure acts such as Taxi and Shorty, to accounts on more recognized performers like the Bay City Rollers, Davy Jones, and Andy Gibb – it’s all covered herein. 

Hannes A. Jonsson has assessed more than 30 musically diverse artists from the 1970s who can all – purposefully or not – be accused of having been squarely aimed at the notoriously fickle teen market.  Consequently, many a career was cruelly cut short once its target audience came of age and moved on.  After all, longevity in the music business is extremely difficult to achieve and yet harder to maintain and is only awarded to a precious few via a combination of luck, perseverance, and, of course, talent.  And teen idols, by their very nature, are deemed disposable once their core audience outgrows them.

Therefore, some of the stories told here are ruefully similar in that they often abruptly reach its conclusion somewhat prematurely.  Nonetheless, these are tales that had to be told seeing since some of them really haven’t been heard before or have been unfairly overlooked since their subjects may lack a certain coolness factor.  However, once upon a time most of these acts were forces to be reckoned with and were near and dear to many.   


Also as a Kindle eBook:

Available for purchase at Amazon worldwide.






1.     The family that plays together:


The Osmonds

The Jackson 5

The DeFranco Family

Andy & David Williams; The Williams Brothers

Hudson Brothers


2.     The heartthrobs:


Bobby Sherman

Davy Jones

David Cassidy

Rick Springfield

Shaun Cassidy

Leif Garrett

Andy Gibb


3.     Meanwhile, back in Britain:


David Essex

The James Boys

Bay City Rollers


Kenny (and Kenny)



Rosetta Stone


Dead End Kids



4.     Big in Japan:






5.     Big in Europe:



The Teens


6.     Movers and shakers:

The King of UK: Ricky Wilde, Simon Turner, Brendon

            Martin & Coulter

            Chinnichap: Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Mud, Smokie, etc.

            Michael Lloyd


            Source materials


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Leslie Richard McKeown (1955-2021)


'Cause I'm a rock and roller
I'm gonna rock it, gonna roll all over
I'm gonna shake it to the midnight stroller,
And rock the night away...

With Les McKeown at the helm, so sang the Bay City Rollers in 1976.
Although Les was never really a rocker, he most certainly was a Roller, through and through.
It was his identity, his role, and his fate.  A fate he tried to escape only twice; for the first time in the late '70s, after his initial departure from the band, and for the second time a decade later, after - yep - another exit from the group.  Nether times it took.
He joined a struggling Rollers in early 1974, just as their (second) breakthrough single, Remember, hit the UK charts.  The rest, as they never tire of saying, is history.  By the year's end, after three more Top 5 hits and a Number 1 album, the Rollers were the biggest band in the land.
Consequently, the world succumbed to Rollermania, as the phenomenon got called.  Europe, the US, Japan and Australia - apparently no one was immune to the beast.  Either loved or loathed, a string of light and breezy pop hits such as Shang-A-Lang, Bye Bye Baby, Give A Little Love, Saturday Night and I Only Wanna Be with You ruled the airwaves for a couple of years there during the mid '70s.
By 1978, though, the jig was up.  Amidst clashing egos, not to mention a drastic change in the musical landscape, the Rollers were unable to keep up and Les unceremoniously left the band.
He was self-deprecating enough to name his first solo backing band Egotrip, and his first solo album All Washed Up.  Still, apart from Rollers stronghold Japan, success wasn't forthcoming.
A handful of Japan-only solo albums followed before the first Bay City Rollers reunion beckoned in 1982.  Again, and not for the last time, Japan appeared to be the only welcoming venue for the venture.
After that enterprise had finally fizzled out Les went solo again by teaming up with Europop maestro Dieter Bohlen (of Modern Talking) for a string of bouncy, dance-oriented singles which all charted in Bohlen's native Germany, as well as a lone album.
By the early '90s Les was once again donning the tartan as he went out with a band variously tagged (for legal reasons) as Les McKeown's '70s Bay City Rollers or, later, Les McKeown's Legendary Bay City Rollers - with him as the only original Roller.
And, apart from an ill-fated 'real' Rollers reunion or two - most notably a much-publicized one that took place in 2015/2016 - that was what he traded in until his dying day, with a tour lined up later this year.
On Thursday April 20, 2021, the world received the news via a post on social media from his family, wife Peko and son Jubei, that Les McKeown had died, 'suddenly, at his home', two days prior, on Tuesday April 20.  He was 65.  No immediate cause of death was enclosed, but a few days later it was reported that the reason was most likely a heart attack.
Seemingly, although Les' life wasn't always easy - he famously battled both alcoholism and drug addiction - there was rarely a dull moment.  His views on people and issues, although not always polite, popular and/or politically correct, he rarely kept to himself.  His biography, Shang-A-Lang (Issued at least three times with various tag lines: 'Life as An International Pop Idol,' 'The Curse of The Bay City Rollers,' and 'My Life with The Bay City Rollers'), is a jolly good read where his joie de vivre personality is brought to the fore.
I met Les a few times, spoke to him many times, and corresponded with him some, way back in the fax age.  He could be charming and funny, sometimes infuriating and difficult, i.e., by no means flawless, but above all human.  I'll miss him.  Rest in Peace, Rock and Roller.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Here are some photos and German magazine articles Steve Clarke from TAXI sent me from his time with the band.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020



Only few copies left!  For any further info, write to 


What the critics said: 

But it’s also a story that demanded to be told.  The Rollers have of course been documented across a stream of titles, but the emphasis has always been on the cultural/commercial phenomenon of their mid-70s peak, and the peculiar emotions that they aroused in their fan base. 

Don’t Stop the Music, on the other hand, is focused only on the music, in the form of a 252-page annotated discography, itself dissected to a level that few other artists have been blessed with.  A band history naturally unfolds alongside the details, but again the emphasis is on the music as opposed to the mayhem, and you’d need a stoney heart indeed not to look to YouTube at least a few times while you’re reading about the songs.  Shimmy shammy shong, indeed.

The Rollers’ own story is the heart of the book, but the same amount of detail and background is also expended across the various spin-offs… solo careers for Nobby Clark, Les McKeown, and Pat McGlynn; a new band for early members Billy Lyall and David Paton (remember Pilot?); and probably deserving a book of his own, the post-Rollers life and times of Ian Mitchell…

Worldwide discographies of the Rollers, and a plethora of record sleeves, reproduced in full color, add to the book’s allure. 

Dave Thompson,, January 11, 2019.

An essential book about the Rollers! (5 stars)

There have been a few books and several autobiographies written by and about the Bay City Rollers but most at best merely skimp over the musical aspects of the group to concentrate on the more sordid side of the band's history.  With this book the situation has been remedied as it is basically a very comprehensive review of their musical output.  Written by a fan it doesn't gush over everything they've released, and I personally disagree with some of his opinions on songs, but he does give an honest and critical assessment of the band's catalogue.  

...nicely laid out little publication. user Swanny, February 7, 2020.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

A tribute to Ian Mitchell (1958-2020)

A tribute to Ian Mitchell


After a reportedly short but brave battle with throat cancer former Bay City Rollers and Rosetta Stone guitarist Ian Mitchell died on September 2nd, 2020.

Having replaced bassist Alan Longmuir (Guitarist Stuart “Woody” Wood switched to bass upon Ian’s arrival) in April 1976, Ian’s initial tenure with the Rollers was brief.  Mere seven months to be exact, although he also partook in a reunion or two later-on in the band’s turbulent history.

The Rollers’ fourth album Dedication featured Mitchell – his lead vocals even adorned the title track.

After leaving the band due to an apparent nervous exhaustion in November ’76, he rejoined his pre-Rollers group Young City Stars, now re-christened Rosetta Stone. 

After a couple of albums in a couple of years he left to form his very own Ian Mitchell Band.  Similarly, two years and two albums later IMB became La Rox, and eventually Bachelor of Hearts.  BoH recorded one album, On the Boulevard in 1983.  After that Ian returned to Rollerland for a couple of years.

The late ‘80s saw him move to American for good – he eventually became a U.S. citizen – where he played in myriad of bands through the years. 

He recorded his first and only solo album in the early 2000s – a festive album no less – but does seem to have been only sporadically involved with music thereafter.

As a tribute to Ian I’ve picked a few of the best bits *I* believe he was involved with during his time as a working musician.  Feel free to disagree though…

Bay City Rollers/"Dedication" (LP version) 1976

Rosetta Stone/"(If Paradise is) Half As Nice" (1977)

Ian Mitchell Band/"Lonely Nites" (1979)

Ian Mitchell Band/"Everybody's on The Fiddle" (1980)

Bachelor of Hearts/"Boulevard L.A." (1983)

Thursday, April 23, 2020

SWEET Top 10

Arguably one of the greatest singles act of the 1970s, (The) Sweet racked up no less than 16 UK hits between 1971 and 1978. And although they reached the pole position only once – with 1973’s mercurial Blockbuster – they, impressively, five separate times hit no. 2.
Always something of a schizophrenic proposition, on one hand, a bubblegummy glam act while on the other a bona fide hard rock band, Sweet was never what one might call a critics favourite.  Although all four of them – Brian Connolly (Vocals), Andy Scott (Guitar), Steve Priest (Bass) and Mick Tucker (Drums) – were clearly excellent musicians, they were more often than not perceived merely as a vehicle for the songwriting talents of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn (AKA Chinnichap) – not unlike the duo’s other high profile clients: Mud, Suzi Quatro and Smokie.
Time has been kind to Sweet though. Nowadays they seem to be viewed not that harshly, musically at least. Even though the often over the top visual appearance and image might predictably still warrant the odd ridicule, the music itself rarely does now.
Pre-Chinnichap, during the late ‘60s, The Sweet recorded a few unspectacular and unsuccessful singles here and there, but by 1971 had teamed up with Chinn & Chapman and began to churn out sticky bubblegum like Funny Funny and Co-Co. At first, apart from merely providing vocals to the proceedings, the band had precious little to do with the hits. The B-sides, though, were always real opportunities for the group to show their harder rocking tendencies.
It wasn’t until the somewhat risqué Little Willy, the fifth Chinnichap Sweet single, the band actually supplied instrumental backing to the A-side.  1975’s Fox on The Run was their first self-penned & produced single and, although one of their best and universally most successful, in hindsight it also signaled the beginning of the end for the band.
By 1978 singer Brian Connolly had left Sweet and they never enjoyed another big hit after that year’s excellent Love Is Like Oxygen.
For fun, I’ve selected my Top 10 of Sweet’s singles and listed them here below with the oblibigatory links to YouTube videos.  If so inclined, feel free to do the same in the comments section below, although I doubt the YouTube thing will work there.
Here goes…
No. 10:  Little Willy (1972)

No. 9:  Wig-Wam Bam (1972)

No. 8:  Lies in Your Eyes (1976)

No. 7:  Action (1975)

No. 6:  The Ballroom Blitz (1973)

No. 5:  Blockbuster (1973)

No. 4:  Teenage Rampage (1974)

No. 3:  Fox On The Run (1975)

No. 2:  Love Is Like Oxygen (1978)

No. 1:  The Six Teens (1974)