Sunday Mail
June 1, 1997, Sunday Page 8

I should be rollin' in it says lost Roller!
He made them number one...
but then said Bye Bye Baby to a fortune

Former Bay City Roller Gordon Nobby Clark claims he is due a fortune in unpaid royalties from the group

By Russell Findlay

Former pop star Gordon Clark doesn't have any gold discs on the walls of his modest home. The doting father's daily routine is a million miles away from the rock 'n' roll lifestyle of girls, drugs and fast cars. But Gordon "Nobby" Clark is the forgotten member of tartan teenyboppers, the Bay City Rollers. And this week the Sunday Mail can reveal that Nobby didn't receive a SINGLE PENNY for his years with one of Scotland's most successful bands. But the 45-year-old is now fighting back as big-money 1970s Rollermania revival grips fans in the US and Japan. Nobby, the original singer with the Edinburgh band, said: "I sang the lead vocals on singles that went to No. 1 around the world. "But I have never received any royalties or money from my time with the band. "I've decided enough is enough. A lot of people are trying to get a slice of the money so I should get what is rightly mine."

The Rollers had massive hits in the 1970s including Bye Bye Baby, Shang- A-Lang and Summer Love Sensation. They sold a staggering 70 million albums and caused mass hysteria wherever they went. Nobby joined brothers Derek and Alan Longmuir while still at Edinburgh's Tynecastle Secondary School in 1965. The teenagers started playing the clubs around the city and only dreamed of stardom until manager Tam Paton took them under his wing. Then in 1969 they struck gold when Keep On Dancing became their first top ten UK hit. That followed on with the world-wide smash Manana. Nobby said: "We were working very hard and playing gigs all over Europe. It was a great life but we were skint. "When Keep on Dancing was in the charts, I was living on pounds 10 a week." But Nobby was replaced by Les McKeown just when the band was about to reach the peak of Rollermania. He said: "I was sick and tired of it and just wanted out. My last appearance was supposed to be on Top of the Pops singing Remember, in 1974. "But I had left so Les did it instead and he mimed along to MY voice. "Remember had already been recorded with me singing so it was released like that even though I wasn't in the band. "Exactly the same thing happened with their next single, Saturday Night, which went to number one in the US. "But I couldn't care less at the time." He didn't want anything to do with the band and was fighting with Tam daily. With good-looking Les as the new singer the band took off ... and Nobby was soon forgotten. He said: "It was terrible. I was trying to carve out a solo career and all people wanted to ask me about was the Bay City Rollers. "

It was five years later that The Rollers' pop dream turned sour. McKeown quit after a show in Japan ended in a stand-up fight with the other band members. The split led to 20 years of back-stabbing and bitter court battles between Les and the other members. But during their years at the top of the charts they were being ROBBED by industry sharks. Tam said: "We were taken in by conmen... it's as simple as that. "But it's Nobby I feel sorry for. He got nothing and was swept under the carpet. Even when we went to No.1 in the States, it was Nobby whose voice was on the single but he got nothing for it." Now the warring Rollers have attempted to bury the hatchet in a final attempt to unlock a possible jackpot of MILLIONS of dollars being held by their former record company, Arista. Nobby said: "No-one can agree how it should be split. "But even if they are successful in their case to get the money paid out, I'm taking action to make sure that I won't be left out." The boys have said he'll be looked after, but Nobby's worried in case they don't have control. "I'd rather the cash went to charity than McKeown," he said. "There is a huge revival in Rollermania in the US and Japan and I've even been invited over to a convention in Las Vegas, in August. "Records are coming out and someone is making money out of us. But it certainly isn't me."

All Nobby has left from his time as a rock 'n' roll star are a few faded Press cuttings and photographs. Now working in the unglamourous world of dry rot and rising damp, he said: "I've carefully worked out that I should have been paid pounds 600,000. "But I would settle for pounds 200,000."