978-0-7475-4703-7 / 9780747547037

Bye Bye Baby: My Tragic Love Affair With the Bay City Rollers


Publisher:Bloomsbury Pub Ltd



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About the book:

Bye Bye Baby time-travels to an era when hair was big, John Travolta cut a dash on a dancefloor where disco burned infernally, Andy Warhol presided at Studio 54 and the Bay City Rollers were, well, naff. Rock critic Caroline Sullivan makes no bones about this in her hilarious account of the Rollers' career, her adolescence in New Jersey and the painful collision of the two in a decade that gave little space to taste. Dirty tartan laundry is wrung, scrubbed and hung out to dry in a rollercoasting memoir that smoulders with the obsessional pain and triumphs of growing pains, anguished friendships and the dangers of getting too close to your dreams. Familiar as we are with the likes of Boyzone and East 17 it is easy to forget the Rollers who were probably the first to combine image with minimal talent and according to Sullivan were the finest despite their dazzling ordinariness. They were Take That in tartan minus the dance steps. Sullivan and her teenage friends (not groupies, you see--"special fans") followed the band on their American tours from hotel to chain motel--each a little more seedy--until their heroes ended up temporarily living in the suburban neighbourhood in which Sullivan grew up. This was less to do with thinking them messiahs (our heroine is refreshingly caustic at times)--more a way of dealing with the energies and needs of those hormone-fuelled years. All the while Sullivan was furiously scribbling a diary which forms the basis of her book but also allowed her to develop a prototype style for her subsequent career. Even at her most self-deprecating she reserves a certain pride and affection for the experience that ultimately lends her writing dignity, mixing the then and now into a heady cocktail, pouring it out with a regressive insouciance and washing it down with a Tab. Current trends dictate that the hour of the band's reunion is nigh with a series of comeback concerts scheduled. Will Caroline Sullivan be there? Purely in a professional capacity, I'm sure. --David Vincent

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