BAY City Rollers legend Les McKeown said Bye Bye Baby to drugs, drink and depression with a little help from his greatest hits and the love of his fans, he’s revealed in an exclusive video chat with The Star.
The 55-year-old star of Rollermania - an evening of stories and hits coming to Rotherham Civic Theatre on Tuesday, April 19 - says singing the band’s greatest hits and the reaction of fans has been great therapy.
And he’s now working on an album of new material to relaunch his career with his band of 20-years the Legendary Bay City Rollers.
But he would also like a Take That-style reunion with the original band and says his door is always open if they want to make it happen.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our big interview with Les McKeown - the voice of the Bay City Rollers.
iPhone: To view our video on the iPhone or iPad, watch it on The Star’s YouTube Channel, where you will find more great videos - click the External Link in the column on the right.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Get a free MP3 download to keep of Les McKeown and his Legendary Bay City Rollers performing classic hit Shang-A-Lang from last year’s Once In A Lifetime Tour at Sheffield Arena. See column on right and details below.
“I haven’t touched drugs since April 2005 and alcohol since August 2008. After I lost my mum and dad in 2002 I went overboard and I had a mental breakdown in 2008, caused by doing a lot of the wrong things. Not eating and drinking too much,’’ he told The Star’s Digital Editor Graham Walker.
“I did four months rehabilitation after that. That’s all about getting your head on straight. I still get negative thoughts but now I can turn that around to a positive.
“Being on tour is therapy for me. It’s great to see all the love coming back to me. It’s so good. I never get sick of singing the Rollers’ songs because you’re singing it to new people every night. It sounds sloppy but the audience love me and I love them back.”
He said of the Rollermania show: “It’s scripted monologue I do interrupted by the hit songs - telling the story of the Bay City Rollers. It’s great to do the big Arenas but there’s a big distance thing, almost like doing a TV show. Theatres like this are a much more intimate environment. It’s my cup of tea.
“It’s not really a concert as such, more a living story I suppose, interspersed with the hits.
And I get to wear my kilt. I enjoy wearing tartan. It’s my Bay City Rollers persona. Obviously I do wear other clothes. But I’m Scottish so I enjoy wearing it.
It’s taking everyone back to 1974. Lots of fans also still turn up with their original scarves and stuff which is almost 40-years old. It’s terrific.”
Tickets for the show at Rotherham Civic Theatre are £19.50, may be subject to a booking fee.
Buy from the venue in Catherine Street, Rotherham, call the box office on 01709 823621 or 01709 823640, or visit rotherham.gov.uk/theatres
FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD:
*To celebrate the show we have teamed up with the promoters to give Star readers a FREE download of Les McKeown’s Legendary Bay City Rollers performing Shang-A-Lang, recorded live at Sheffield Arena on the Once In A Lifetime Tour 2010.
Simply right click the External Link, in the column on the right, and “save as” to your computer. Add to your music collection and play. It’s yours to keep.
iPhone users can click the download link to hear the track while on the move. But Best results with a wifi connection.
The track comes from the album Les McKeown’s Legendary Bay City Rollers Live: Once In A Lifetime Tour- visit www.lesmckeown.com