Coronavirus

Bay City Rollers Guitarist Announces Departure From Band; Watch Final Performances

Bay City Rollers 2015
Carrie Davenport/Redferns via Getty Images

Bay City Rollers perform on stage at Waterfront Hall on Feb. 6, 2015 in Belfast, United Kingdom.

Bay City Rollers guitarist Stuart “Woody” Wood announced Saturday (July 9) that the reunion show at Scotland’s T in the Park Festival would be his last with the band.

The 59-year old guitarist shared the news shortly before the group -- which includes original vocalist Les McKeown and bassist Alan Longmuir -- took the stage at Strathallan Castle in Perthshire, Scotland. 

“Hi All...just to say TITP is my last gig,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “Disappointed is an understatement but outwith my control. Details will follow in due course...love as always,Woody x”

He further addressed rumors in another post Sunday, writing his exit has nothing to do with health or otherwise.

The band confirmed Wood’s exit on Twitter, writing, “He played a blinder…It was definitely an emotional night!”

The three original Rollers reunited in December, and were reportedly working on new music with manager John McLaughlin, who produced music for ShaneMacGowanEcho & the BunnymenMick Jones of The Clash and X Factor alums Sam Callahan and Jade Richards.

News of Wood’s departure was a shock to fans, who were expecting a new album and tour dates in Japan and the U.S. in 2017.

After his time with The Rollers, Wood went on to form the  group The Passengers in South Africa. He returned to Edinburgh and found success as a producer, guiding X Factor alums The MacDonald Brothers to a No. 1 record on the Scottish charts and the No. 18 slot on the U.K. charts. Wood  is the co-founder of The Music Kitchen, a joint venture he launched with partner Gordon Campbell.

In other Rollers news,  McKeown is set to release a new collection of music, LesMcKeownThe Lost Songs, on Aug. 22 through iTunes and will continue to tour throughout the year with his group. Longmuir will continue to tour his stage show, I Ran With the Gang, performing Rollers hits with a full question-and-answer section for fans.

The band’s final show was a buoyant one, despite the pre-show tensions. In addition to the hits “Bye, Bye Baby” and “Shang-a-Lang,” the band brought on the bagpipes for the traditional Scottish song “Loch Lomond.” Wood was especially energetic and dynamic for several songs, including the upbeat "All of Me Loves All of You," a 1974 single included on the 2004 re-issue of the album Once Upon a Star.

In yet another treat, McKeown introduced “Saturday Night," which hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976, with a nod to The Ramones. “The Bay City Rollers were very popular with a band called The Ramones,” McKeown said. “They wanted to copy The Bay City Rollers, believe it or not.”

He then led the crowd in a chant of “Hey, Ho! Let’s Go” from “Blitzkrieg Bop,” shouting “This is the song that inspired them!”

McKeown is telling the truth. Joey Ramone admitted that the punk icons were fans of pop music.

“I hate to blow the mystique, but at the time we really liked bubblegum music, and we really liked the Bay City Rollers,” he said. “Their song 'Saturday Night' had a great chant in it, so we wanted a song with a chant in it: 'Hey! Ho! Let's Go!'. 'Blitzkrieg Bop' was our 'Saturday Night.'"

McKeown certainly enjoyed himself at the Scottish festival, which included appearances by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Calvin Harris. The 60-year old took a moment to enjoy the heavy downpours that rained down from the heavens, "naked of course," reported The Scottish Sun. He was also still on a high from the performance Sunday morning, and took a moment to thank fans on Twitter.

Watch the final performance, filmed by Hev Vaughn, below:

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.