THE former manager of the Bay City Rollers, Tam Paton, tried to rape a member of the band and regularly had sex with children, singer Les McKeown claimed last night.
In an interview with Scotland on Sunday, McKeown claimed Paton made repeated sexual advances to members of the 1970s boy band. McKeown said at one point he had to pull Paton, who was jailed for three years for gross indecency towards two teenage boys in the 1980s, off Roller Pat McGlynn to prevent a rape.
Paton’s home in Gogar on the outskirts of Edinburgh was known as "Beast Central", the singer claimed, because every time the band went there they met "pretty young lads lying about in skimpy towels".
"Paton tried it on with me, but I wouldn’t enter his sordid world," said McKeown, whose book Shang-A-Lang is due out next month.
"If he tried to touch me, I used to say: ‘My father will rip your f***ing head off. And my brother. They’ll stab you to death.’"
He said in one incident in a Melbourne hotel, he arrived at the room he was sharing with Pat McGlynn to find 26-stone Paton on top of the guitarist.
"I had to jump on Tam and get him round his neck and pull him off him. He’s a dirty bastard," he said. "He tried to make out it was just a bit of fun, but if I hadn’t gone back when I did Pat would have been raped."
McKeown, who walked out on the band 25 years ago in the middle of a tour of Japan, said he was "very" embarrassed by the connections between the Rollers and paedophilia.
"I have no time for people who fiddle with kids. I just don’t understand that stuff. I understand most things, but that one is beyond me," he said.
"I knew he [Paton] was up to things with various members of the band, but I didn’t know he was fiddling with kids."
Band member Derek Longmuir was sentenced to 300 hours’ community service, had his name placed on the sex offenders register and was subsequently sacked from his job at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary two years ago after he was convicted of possessing child pornography. "I’m convinced Paton made Derek the way he is," McKeown said.
McKeown said he and other members of the band were afraid of Paton. "Tam had a physical presence. He could pick you up with one arm. The first time I met him he was finishing his daily job, which was lifting hundredweight sacks of potatoes off a lorry. He had two on each shoulder. I’d find it hard to lift one. I was scared of him," he said.
He told how his father was attacked by Paton’s Alsatian dog after Paton made a sound. "It bit him all round his stomach. Then Paton made another sound and it stopped. He said: ‘See, Les, nobody’s safe.’"
McKeown still receives Christmas cards from his former manager despite moving house several times. "That’s him saying ‘I know where you live’... because he hates me," he said.
Following the collapse of the band, Rollers Eric Faulkner and Alan Longmuir have attempted suicide. Paton, who insists his conviction for gross indecency was a miscarriage of justice, denied ever trying to have sex with or making advances to the Rollers, saying: "They weren’t my type at all."
He added he was an easy target for McKeown and others seeking publicity. "The Rollers spent all their money and are writing books. Who better to pick on than me?" Paton said. "They were a load of rubbish. The only thing they had going for them was an image."
Paton is currently awaiting trial for alleged drug offences.
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "If Mr McKeown wishes to make an allegation to the police, the allegations will be dealt with in the appropriate manner."
A spokesman for Mainstream, the Edinburgh-based firm publishing McKeown’s book, said:
"It is a no-holds-barred account of Rollermania and beyond and provides a candid insight into the less savoury aspects of the music industry."