“I’m the new singer for the Bay City Rollers,” says local Eric Crabb. “Their guitarist Ian Mitchell lives in Orange County now, and he saw me on YouTube. It was an audition video I did for the Canadian band Saga, which almost got me the gig.… The video stayed on YouTube, and next thing I know, Ian invited me to audition for his new version of the group.”
The actual band name is the “Bay City Rollers featuring Ian Mitchell.” No other former members are in the group, and guitarist Mitchell was a Roller from April through November 1976 (though he took part in several latter-day “reunion” lineups). In the early ’90s, he was sued by former Roller Eric Faulkner for unauthorized use of the band name.
“Judge threw it out of court,” says Mitchell on his website, “as it was the promoter who was at fault. Spoke to Eric about it. We laughed.”
Crabb doesn’t think the lack of original Rollers will be a problem.
“It’s such a famous name, and people love their music. We’re supposed to start touring next year.” Crabb is in the process of learning around 20 Rollers songs, as well as “Rockin’ in the Free World” (Neil Young) and “Doctor Doctor” (Robert Palmer).
In addition to singing, Crabb is a part-time actor. He had a brief role in Wayne’s World as the guitar-store clerk who won’t allow patrons to play “Stairway to Heaven.”
“From 1979 to 1982,” says Crabb, “in around 15 Jolly Green Giant commercials, I was the voice of the Little Green Sprout!”
– Jay Allen Sanford