Jamie McGrory – drummer for the Bay City Rollers
Loud & Proud’s Jamie McGrory talks us through his career and role behind the kit for the Bay City Rollers
Origins as a drummer?
It was in school, basically. I got a shot of a drum kit one day in second year and that was the start and end of it (laughs). Then, my dad [Tommy McGrory] got me my own kit for the garage, so I started playing in bands with guys in my class.
Around the same time, Loud ‘n’ Proud kicked off. In the 80s, my dad had a marching band and L’n’P was initially intended as a new incarnation of that. Eventually, almost by accident, we merged my band with his guys and that created the rock orchestra.
You’ve taught in Loud & Proud since it started. Is it rewarding to pass your skills and techniques onto other aspiring musicians?
Aw absolutely, I’ve always loved it. We’ve had some incredible students who’ve gone on to do some awesome stuff. It’s amazing to see them out there touring and playing gigs, apart from the fact that you get jealous that they can play things you can’t (laughs).
Although you’ve always played in bands, how did you end as the drummer in the Bay City Rollers?
It’s been a two-pronged thing. I’ve always been making original music, but I’ve also been a hired gun to pay the bills. After a mate of mine [Ian Thomson] ended up singing for BCR, he gave me a call to come onto the drums.
He was literally in my first band and now, a million years later, we’re doing the same thing (laughs). We’ve been over in Germany, America and Japan, so that’s been great.
What’s cool is that different songs are big in different continents. Everyone in Scotland knows Shang-A-Lang, but no-one in America does! So, the setlist is different everywhere.
It’s great to play music for a living, I try to ensure that I never take it for granted.
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In addition to your own contributions as a performer, you’ve garnered acclaim as a producer through your JJ Recordings Studio. How did this come about?
I’ve always been interested in recording and it eventually grew out of hand (laughs). When L&P moved, there was a wee area that wasn’t getting used and I just took that on myself and built a studio.
Everyone from acts that are signed to major labels like Saint Phnx to local youngsters record there now. I’ve even got the Bay City Rollers coming in, so that’ll be chaos!
Keep up with everything Jamie McGrory is up to via his website.