Status Quo’s Rossi recalls Bay City Rollers bust up

Francis Rossi says Status Quo and the Bay City Rollers were rivals. Picture: TSPL
Francis Rossi says Status Quo and the Bay City Rollers were rivals. Picture: TSPL
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Rockers Status Quo almost challenged Scottish pop idols the Bay City Rollers to a punch-up at the height of their name, the frontman of the iconic rockers has admitted almost 40 years later.

Francis Rossi told an audience at the Fringe that his group had to be held back by security guards at a TV studio in the mid-1970s because they were so angry at the attention they were getting.

Appearing on the Johnnie Walker show at the New Town Theatre, he revealed the band had got drunk behind the scenes with Rod Stewart before their attempt to attack the Rollers, while Scots singer Maggie Bell was performing.

“We nearly fought with the Bay City Rollers. We actually got lost in the studio, drunk, while we were trying to get out.

“Maggie was doing a live vocal and they brought the Bay City Rollers out while she was performing, so the entire attention of the audience went.

“We were after knocking seven kinds of hell out of them, but we didn’t because security wouldn’t let us.”

Despite their hugely different styles of music, the Rollers and the Quo were arch-rivals in the mid-1970s.

Rossi added: “They were huge at the time. But they didn’t play on many of their records, it was all session players on some of them.”

Walker, who famously described the Rollers as “musical garbage,” told his Fringe show that the band’s frontman Les McKeown later admitted he was right during an off-air moment years later.


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