Once upon a time, I was a young pre-teen girl, reading Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine...for the pics of my faves, you know ;)
Things were very different back then. The articles in these publications were sugar coated pabulum designed more to sell record albums and drive up TV show ratings rather than give you the real poop on those faves who's pics lined your bedroom walls. Not that we knew otherwise. We were more than happy to think our teen idols were as squeeky clean as we were!
Anyway, like most of the rest of the girls my age at that time, I was sort of outgrowing Donny & Marie (does anyone ever really outgrow Donny Osmond? Seriously...the man's a grandfather and I'd STILL do him in a heartbeat!) and looking for more 'grown up' music. I found that sound in the voice of Les McKeown, lead singer for The Bay City Rollers. No, they weren't from Bay City, Michigan. These five lads were from Edinburgh, Scottland, and they had the tartan to prove it! The lineup consisted of the afore mentioned Les, lead singer and the driving force in heartthrob, guitarists Woody Wood, Eric Faulkner, bassist Alan Longmuir and his drum playing blond brother with the little Dutch Boy hair cut, Derek. Alan later left the band (which he and Derek had actually founded as The Saxons) and was replaced by Ian Mitchell...but more on him later.
Now, you're going to think I'm weird (unless you already thought I was, and, in that case, this does not strike you as odd at all) but I just went up into the top of my closet shelf where all that 'stuff' lives. You know that 'stuff'...the stuff you just can't bring yourself to part with. The prom corsage, the gift a sweet boy you had a secret crush on gave you at your 12th birthday party, a postcard from a long forgotten friend...that 'stuff'. I have my grandmother's old jewelry box up there with some of this 'stuff' in it. There's a little adjustable ring with a distelfink on it, a NYC subway token, a pendant with my name twisted in silver wire that I got at a long gone fair, beaded earrings from the 1980's, a high school yearbook photo of me, and some ticket stubs from NY Ranger hockey games at Madison Square Garden.
There is another ticket stub in there. It's hot pink and it says SECTION 204 ROW B SEAT 12. It's dated May 9, 1977 and it's face value is a whopping $8.00. It was from my very first concert...The Bay City Rollers.
Yes, I had the Rollermania bad, though not as bad as some of those at that show. There were girls with their hair cut like Woody and Eric, wearing the same style ankle high pants with tartan around the cuffs, wearing tartan scarves around their necks. Before the Rollers, I'd always called it 'plaid'. My school uniform as plaid. But the Rollers wore TARTAN!
I went to the show with my cousins Diane, Maria and Joanne. Joanne had graduated high school and was working at the time. She waited in line on her lunch hour at the box office for the tickets. By the time she got up to the window, all that were left were singles. She did, however, manage to get two fairly good seats together. My mother was somehow elected as 'the parent' to bring us. She took the worst seat. Maria was OVER THERE, and Joanne was WAY OVER THERE. Diane and I had two choice seats on the aisle. We sat there, like two little ladies, in our jeans, sneakers and cute girl tshirts, like two little ladies, while the girl with the Eric Faulkner haircut sitting next to us explained how we'd need to sit back when the music started so she could rush the stage. This was our first concert. We thought it was going to be like a play. Everyone sits nicely and enjoys.
Wow, were WE idiots!
If I recall correctly, the 'opening act' was a clown...yes...a clown. We really didn't pay attention, since we were in awe of the Faulkner~headed girl. Her mother actually let her cut her hair that way? And where did she get pants LIKE THE ROLLERS WORE?! We looked at our Toughskins and Keds with embarrassment. We were failures as fans.
Then, the lights dimmed and the music started! IT WAS TIME FOR THE BAY CITY ROLLERS!
As if on cue, the Eric Faulkner girl charged the stage~along with just about every other girl in the audience. Diane and I looked at each other, embraced and screamed as only 12 year old girls can. It was almost as ear piercing as the music!
Suddenly, there was my mother in front of us. With a mighty index finger in our faces she said "I'll be in the lobby. DON'T MOVE" And she was gone. In an attempt to see better, we sat our butts on the top of our chairs, ensuring a much better view, and continued to scream.
We screamed for an hour.
And when it was over, we went home, dazed, deaf and hoarse.
So, tonight, I perused YouTube, and thru the magic of the internet, I got to experience Rollermania once again...
Ah...Dedication with Ian Mitchell on lead vocal. Here's how it went: Ian replaced Alan in the original line up, and Diane and I fell in love immediately. Looking back, I can't help but wonder why. Then again, we were kids, and so was he. Ian was all of 17 at the time he sang this song. Anyway, we were soooo excited to be seeing OUR IAN at the concert. In the weeks leading up to the show, we would look at the glossy pictures of the Rollers in Tiger Beat and 16 and sigh, knowing soon enough, we'd be in the same room as our sweet Ian. Then we read it: BREAKING NEWS IN 16 MAGAZINE! IAN IS OUT OF BCR!! Our pre~teen hearts broke into a thousand pieces! No Ian?! Who would sing Dedication?! There were only 4 Rollers at our show...but who even remembers the music? :D