The second member of Scotland's 1970's heartthrobs the Bay City Rollers, guitarist Ian Mitchell, died of cancer on September 2nd at age 62. Mitchell, who was from Northern Ireland, joined the band in 1976 at the age of 17, after serving an apprenticeship in the “minor league” Rollers group, Young City Stars. Mitchell's death comes just two years after the band's co-founding bassist Alan Longmuir, died at age 70 on July 2nd, 2018.
Mitchell — the first non-Scot to wear the Rollers' tartans — replaced Longmuir, but only stayed for seven months. During that time, Mitchell was featured on the band's 1976 Dedication album — which included him singing the album's title track, and the Rollers' Top 20 hit remake of Dusty Springfield's “I Only Wanna Be With You.”
Upon leaving, Mitchell hooked up with Rosetta Stone, which, like the Rollers, was managed by the infamous potato farmer-turned svengali, Tam Paton. In 1979 Mitchell formed the Ian Mitchell Group, and took part in numerous Rollers reunions and revivals over the decades. Mitchell relocated to Los Angeles and built a new life as a computer programmer, doing satellite communications for the U.S. government, and serving as a motivational speaker.
His former bandmate, Roller guitarist and bassist Stuart “Woody” Wood posted a tribute on social media: “Very sad, sad news about Ian Mitchell. We’d like to send our love and condolences to (his wife) 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 sorely be missed Ian.”