BAY CITY ROLLERS – “IT’S A GAME” ALBUM, 1977

BAY CITY ROLLERS GAME
It is funny how something that was once treasured was forgotten once it is found again.  The above I saw sitting on the floor in the breezeway at Marv’s and the album was such an item.

They hit it big in 1976 with the song “Saturday Night”, which is almost a cheer/chant spelling out “Saturday”excitedly.  I skipped lunches and saved my lunch money to buy the album.

Although they were a band from Ireland, they were named after Bay City, Michigan after pointing to the city randomly on a map.   They were especially popular with the pre-teen and teen crowd, so much so I recall seeing them on a talk show and despite security stationed around the stage, young girls kept getting on stage and literally pulling them off and into the crowd, and not just once, but repeatedly and the song was cut short because of it.

The original band has started with two brothers, Alan Longmuir, who was the oldest in his mid-to late 20’s and had left the band by the time the above record was produced, and Derek, the blond guy. along with Les McKeon and Stuart “Woody” Wood, who were late teens to early 20’s, so close to the age of their primary fan base.

One of my best friends, Debbie and I were crazy about the lead singer, Les, with brouge accent, perfectly feathered hair and bare chest underneath a jacket or tuxedo like blazer…we thought he was cool. We were too young to think he was “hot” or “sexy”; that wasn’t even in our vocabulary at the time; the attraction was probably as he seemed more exotic and different than what a small town with the primary population being over the age of 65 had to offer.

I even stitched red tartan plaid down the sides of my jeans to mimic their style; it was one of my first refashion projects.  I remember they were going to play at the State Fair in Indianapolis and I tried to talk my Mom into taking me, but as she had watched the same talk show where they were being pulled off stage, I can now understand why she wouldn’t not want to.  Even so, a Fort Wayne radio station had a promotion where you could call in to win tickets 4 to a toll-free number and I still tried to win them even though I was just a kid and didn’t know anyone with a driver’s license that would have taken me and my friends even if I did have the lure of a free ticket for them.

This album was not the last of theirs that I bought, but it was the most current, as they waned in popularity after this album.  Even the title song “Its A Game” was more serious and lacked the fun pop tunes they had put forth earlier.

I sought out an earlier album “Once Upon A Star” that I read of in a magazine and it was my first ever internationl transaction as I purchased it from a store in the UK, all in the days before the internet and all correspondence was by snail mail so it took a few months to track down and deal and settle due to the exchange rate.  I had to purchase a money order and with shipping and handling I think it was around $25, which was a heck of a lot money to me, but entirely worth it as I liked the music on it better than any of their other albums.   Some of the songs had almost a nostalgic 50’s teen pop vibe that my Mom seemed to like (or at least not complain about hearing repeatedly).

On the above album at the the time, I think I thought the lower left hand picture looked etheral and dream-like but now they seem much scrawnier and the set up looks a little strange and even a bit creepy, maybe more like a Faustian writhing in hell action, especially considering their marketing was to a younger crowd.    The inside foldout now looks like artsy yearbook photo that were popular at the time, but now look like they would be right at  home in a post on Awkward Family Photos.  In the picture in the center of the album in the upper left hand corner, it looks like Les is rockin’ “Mom” jeans, but then again, we all made questionable fashion choices in the 70’s.   I am thankful no photo exist of me in my green flowered hip hugger bell bottomed jeans.

 

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