Bay City Rollers cofounder Alan Longmuir dies at 70

Alan Longmuir, a founding member of the Bay City Rollers, died early Monday after a brief illness, according to the BBC. The group were a pop sensation in the mid-1970s — a Tartan-clad early boy band who played up their Scottishness — via a series of chart-topping U.K. singles like “Bye Bye Baby” and “Shang-a-Lang,” and their U.S. breakthrough, “Saturday Night,” which hit No. 1 in 1976.

Longmuir (pictured above left, with ñsinger Les McKeown) formed the band, initially called the Saxons, in Edinburgh in 1966 with his younger sibling and drummer Derek. The group’s best-known lineup, which featured McKeown and guitarists Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood as well as the Longmuirs, came together early in 1974. According to legend, the group chose its name by throwing a dart at a map, which landed on Bay City, Michigan. At the peak of their success the group had their own television show and a fanbase known as the “Tartan Horde.”

See photos of Alan Longmuir:

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Alan Longmuir through the years
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Alan Longmuir through the years
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: TOP OF THE POPS Photo of BAY CITY ROLLERS, L-R: Alan Longmuir, ?, Nobby Clark, Derek Longmuir (drums), ?, ? performing live on Top Of The Pops TV Show (Photo by Ron Howard/Redferns)
Scottish pop group The Bay City Rollers, UK, March 1974. Left to right: Eric Faulkner, Derek Longmuir, Les Mckeown, Alan Longmuir and Stuart 'Woody' Wood. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Bay City Rollers, studio group portrait, UK, March 1974, L-R (back) Les Mckeown, Derek Longmuir, (Front) Stuart 'Woody' Wood, Eric Faulkner, Alan Longmuir. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Scottish pop group The Bay City Rollers posed together in 1974. The band are, from left to right: Alan Longmuir, Derek Longmuir (top), Stuart 'Woody' Wood, Eric Faulkner and Les McKeown. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
DENMARK - JANUARY 01: Photo of BAY CITY ROLLERS; L to R: Derek Longmuir, Stuart Wood, Eric Faulkner, Les McKeown, Alan Longmuir (Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns)
Scottish pop group The Bay City Rollers, March 1974. Left to right: Alan Longmuir, Eric Faulkner, Derek Longmuir, Les McKeown and Stuart 'Woody' Wood. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: (AUSTRALIA OUT) Photo of BAY CITY ROLLERS; Group portrait - Stuart 'Woody' Wood, Les McKeown, Eric Faulkner (c), Alan Longmuir,and Derek Longmuir (front) (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
Scottish pop group the Bay City Rollers, circa 1975. Left to right: Eric Faulkner, Les McKeown, Alan Longmuir, Stuart 'Woody' Wood and Derek Longmuir. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives /Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1975: Scottish rock band 'The Bay City Rollers' pose for a portrait in circa 1975 in Los Angeles, California. (L-R) Leslie Mckeown, Eric Faulkner, Alan Longmuir, Derek Longmuir and Stuart 'Woody' Wood. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: (left to right) Eric Faulkner, Les McKeown, Derek Longmuir, Alan Longmuir and Stuart Wood of the Bay City Rollers perform on a BBC television show in 1975. (Photo by Colin Fuller/Redferns)
LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 1975: Scottish rock band 'The Bay City Rollers' pose for a portrait in October, 1975 in Los Angeles, California. (L-R) Leslie Mckeown, Stuart 'Woody' Wood, Alan Longmuir, Eric Faulkner and Derek Longmuir (bottom). (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 1976: Scottish rock band 'The Bay City Rollers' pose for a portrait in February, 1976 in Los Angeles, California. (L-R) Eric Faulkner, Derek Longmuir, Stuart 'Woody' Wood, Leslie Mckeown and Alan Longmuir. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - 1981: Alan Longmuir, Eric Faulkner, Derek Longmuir, Stuart Wood, and Duncan Faure of the Scottish pop rock band the Bay City Rollers in New York City in 1981. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - 1981: Stuart Wood, Duncan Faure, Alan Longmuir, Eric faulkner, and Derek Longmuir of the Scottish pop rock band the Bay City Rollers in New York City in 1981. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)
Alan Longmuir of the Bay City Rollers performs on stage at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London, 14th December 2016. (Photo by Dick Barnatt/Redferns)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Alan Longmuir of The Bay City Rollers performs at Eventim Apollo on December 14, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Brian Rasic/WireImage)
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Longmuir died three weeks after being flown home from Mexico, where he fell ill while on vacation with his wife, the BBC said. McKeown said he’d visited his longtime bandmate in the hospital recently. “Alan was a true gentleman and a brilliant musician,” he said. “He was a brilliant guy, never had a bad word to say about anyone. We are all going to miss him so much.”

The group sold an estimated 120 million records, but Longmuir quit at the height of their success in 1976, citing pressure. The other members soldiered on with a replacement for two more years, and finally split in 1978. They reformed on several occasions over the following years with a variety of lineups, including one with Longmuir, McKeown and Wood in 2015.

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