2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Friday, January 11, 2019

BOOK REVIEW for I Ran With the Gang My Life In and Out of The Bay City Rollers by ALAN LONGMUIR

TITLE:         I Ran with the Gang, My Life In and Out of The Bay City Rollsers

AUTHOR:  Alan Longmuir with Martin Knight

GENRE:      Memoir

RATING:      4 stars

Right upfront, Alan Longmuir, co-founder of the Bay City Rollers tells the reader that there will be no scandal in this book.  He also says that he is only speaking on his own experiences and, for the most part, he stuck by these two comments really well.  Which means he is ethical but it also gives for a fairly vanilla memoir.

I rated this book 4 stars because it is a thoughtfully written book by a man who appears to be, by all accounts, humble, quiet and kind.  But this book could really have used a little bit more oomph because it is a tad boring.

Longmuir goes into a somewhat long explanation on his growing up years.  I think he could have cut it down by 30% - conversely, he should have added 30% more on The Bay City Rollers).

Of course, we are mostly reading this book to find out about Alan's experiences with the band.  Alan, similarly to the book written by Les several years ago, does not give us enough "on the road experiences" to help us get a good feel of it was for the boys at that time.  Alan generalizes A LOT and while drooling a little over Olivia Newton John and Ann Margaret, we don't get much else.  I would have loved to hear the thought process before a show, after a show.  How did he feel about the fans? what funny and not so funny events happened on the road?  There is none of that in this book.

One thing this book did well though was spell out Alan's feelings about the other guys in the band and how the Bay City Rollers are and have always been their own worst enemy.  Alan comments on this and even basically says "its time to grow up and stop the petty fights".  Unfortunately, neither the  Bay City Rollers nor the fans ever got to this place - made even sadder by the fact that only Nobby Clarke and Les' wife made it to Alan's funeral (Les was touring in Australia).  Even at the end, the BCR could not put their petty differences to go to Alan's funeral, the man who created the band in the first place.

On a more positive note, the writing is great!  Down to earth and a breeze to read.  The book is very short with just a little over 220 pages.

Yet, I can't say that I really have a much better idea of who Alan really was.  

RIP Alan Longmuir,  you and the BCR defined my youth.  Thanks to you and the BCR, I spent countless hours listening to your music, countless daydreams thinking about how wonderful you all were and most importantly countless days being a star struck teenager, who had no idea the horrors that you were all living while I was screaming out  "THE ROLLERSSSSS"

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