Tam Paton

Biography by

b. Thomas Dougal Paton, August 1937, Prestonpans, Scotland. Paton’s involvement in the music business began during the early 60s when he played piano in Scottish showband, the Crusaders. After they split…
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Artist Biography by

b. Thomas Dougal Paton, August 1937, Prestonpans, Scotland. Paton’s involvement in the music business began during the early 60s when he played piano in Scottish showband, the Crusaders. After they split he was persuaded to form a new 10-piece showband known as the Tam Paton Orchestra, which had a residency at Edinburgh’s Palais de Dance. In 1967, he was approached by two young kids, Alan and Derek Longmuir, who had recently formed a group called the Saxons. By the time he auditioned them, however, they had changed their name to the Bay City Rollers. Paton managed the group who had an ever-shifting line-up over the next few years. It was not until 1971 that they received their big break when Paton persuaded a posse of record company talent spotters to witness their act in Edinburgh. Initially signed to Tony Calder’s production company, they released their work through Dick Leahy’s Bell Records. In the meantime, Paton retained another group, Kip, who served as a pool of replacements. Briefly, he had a managerial tie-up with Peter Walsh after which the Bay City Rollers swiftly became the biggest pop sensation of their day. The press predictably caricatured Paton as an aggressive hirer/firer and puppet master. Several people attempted to buy out Paton’s interests in the band but he always refused to surrender power. For Paton, the Bay City Rollers were not merely a business asset but the embodiment of all his frustrated dreams and ambitions. Sadly, the dream ended in the late 70s when the band’s good boy image was exposed as a myth. Worse was to follow for Paton who was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment at Edinburgh High Court for committing indecent acts with a number of youngsters aged between 15 and 20 years, supplying them with stupefying liquor and allowing blue movies to be shown at his home. His fall was undoubtedly the most spectacular of any manager in pop music history. He later moved into the real estate business.