This afternoon Les McKeown’s family announced the sad news that the Bay City Rollers frontman suddenly died on Tuesday aged 65. During the 1970s the singer and his bandmates were huge, selling 120 million records worldwide making profits that would translate to around £5 billion in today’s money. At the time the Scottish musicians were considered one of the biggest groups since The Beatles, whose band members they met a number of times.
Back in 2016, Express.co.uk had the privilege of interviewing the Bay City Rollers who were promoting their festive album A Christmas Shang-A-Lang and new tour at the time.
We sat down for a pint in a London Bridge pub with Les McKeown, guitarist Stuart Wood and bassist Alan Longmuir, the latter of whom has also sadly died since.
During the chat, the affable lads reminisced about the heights of Rollermania and Les admitted he was glad smartphones weren’t around back then.
On meeting members of The Beatles, Woody remembered a time in Los Angeles when Ringo Starr jokingly teased them.
The statement announcing Les’ death read: “It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved husband and father Leslie Richard McKeown.
“Leslie died suddenly at home on Tuesday 20 April 2021. We are currently making arrangements for his funeral.
“If you would like to remember Leslie, please make a donation in his name to: [details].
“We thank you and ask for privacy after the shock of our profound loss. Thank you. Keiko and Jubei McKeown.”
Les was born on November 12, 1955 in Edinburgh to Irish parents.
He joined the Bay City Rollers as lead singer in late 1973, before leaving the band in 1978.
It wasn’t until 2015 when he rejoined for the reunion shows the band were promoting a year later.
Les went on to release nine solo albums with the latest being 2016’s The Lost Songs.
Published at Thu, 22 Apr 2021 17:56:00 +0000