Ian Mitchell, former bassist for the Bay City Rollers, has died at the age of 62. At the time of writing, the cause of the musician’s death is yet to be announced.
The 1970s Scottish pop sensations – known for hits including “Saturday Night”, “Shang-a-Lang” and “Bye Bye Baby” and for selling almost 300 million records globally – confirmed Mitchell’s passing via a statement posted on their official Facebook page.
A statement read: “We are deeply saddened by the news of Ian Mitchell’s death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Wendy, their family and friends. Rest In Peace, Ian.”
Tributes also came from the band’s guitarist, Stuart ‘Woody’ Wood.
“Very sad, sad news about Ian Mitchell,” Wood wrote. ”We’d like to send our love and condolences to Wendy and all Ian’s family and friends…you are in our hearts.
“I have many fond memories of Ian not only in the BCR days but also when we played together in the 80’s with The Passengers…great guys and great days! You will be sorely missed Ian…”
Mitchell replaced bassist Alan Longmuir in 1976 when he was just 17, and became the first non-Scottish member of the group, hailing from Northern Ireland rather than the band’s native Edinburgh.
With Mitchell on bass, the group released their album Dedication and reached No 12 in the US charts with their cover of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want To Be With You”. Mitchell was later replaced by Pat McGlynn, before Longmuir, who died in 2018, made his eventual return in 1978.
He went on to form the band Rosetta Stone but quit in 1979. The group continued without him before parting ways in 1984. He launched the Ian Mitchell Band in May 1979. In later years, he continued working on solo projects as well as joining in reunions for both the Bay City Rollers and Rosetta Stone.
The Bay City Rollers’ current line-up features Ian Thomson on lead vocals and guitar, Marcus Cordock on bass guitar, Jamie McGrory on drums and Wood on guitar.