Ex Bay City Rollers Guitarist Ian Mitchell Dies At 62

mitchell

Musician Ian Mitchell, who had a short stint in the Bay City Rollers, died Tuesday at 62.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Ian Mitchell’s death,” read a message from the band on Facebook. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Wendy, their family and friends. Rest In Peace, Ian.”

A cause of death was not immediately disclosed, but family friend Sue Phillips shared on social media that Mitchell's death followed "a short illness."

Scotland’s Bay City Rollers was enormously popular in Canada in the 1970s thanks to hits like “Saturday Night” and “Keep On Dancing.”

Mitchell was just 17 when he took over rhythm guitar from Stuart Wood, who moved to bass upon the departure of Alan Longmuir in 1976. During Mitchell’s seven months with the Bay City Rollers, the band recorded its fourth album, Dedication, on which he sang lead on the title track.

Mitchell was in Toronto in the summer of 1976 when an estimated 65,000 packed Nathan Phillips Square to see the band.

Former bandmate Stuart “Woody” Wood called Mitchell’s death “very sad, sad news.” In a Facebook post, he added: “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…”

Born in Northern Ireland, Mitchell was the first non-Scottish member of the Bay City Rollers. He went on to play in a band called Rosetta Stone and launched the Ian Mitchell Band and various solo projects. Mitchell reunited with Bay City Rollers several times over the years.

In his latter years, Mitchell worked for a technology company in Southern California. He continued to perform as a solo artist, including an eight-city tour of Ontario in 2002.

He leaves behind his wife of 28 years, Wendy-Ann, as well as four siblings.

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