Tam Paton

Thomas Dougal "Tam" Paton (5 August 1938 – 8 April 2009) was a pop group manager, most notably of the Scottish boy band the Bay City Rollers.


Born in Prestonpans, Scotland, he was the son of a potato merchant.[1] Paton initially[when?] drove a truck to aid the Bay City Rollers financially. He guided the band through to their period of success during the mid-1970s, nurturing their image of being the "boys next door". He was responsible for beginning a myth that the band members preferred drinking milk to alcohol, in order to cultivate a clean, innocent image. However, vocalist Les McKeown later said Paton introduced the band members to drugs. "When we got a wee bit tired, he'd give us amphetamines," McKeown recalled in 2005. "He'd keep us awake with speed, black bombers. You end up almost showing off to each other what stupid drugs you've taken."[1]

In 1979, Paton was fired as manager, and subsequently developed a multi-million pound real estate business based in Edinburgh, Scotland.[citation needed]

In the late 1970s Paton managed the band Rosetta Stone, and had a romantic relationship with the guitarist Paul Lerwill, who later changed his name to Gregory Gray.[2]

Paton was openly gay[3] and was involved in a number of legal controversies which related to his sexuality. In 1982, he was convicted of gross indecency with two teenage boys aged 16 and 17, below what was then the legal age of consent of 21, and served one year of a three-year prison sentence.[4]

In later years, Paton suffered from poor health including two heart attacks and a stroke. He was arrested on child sexual abuse charges in January 2003, but was later cleared of all allegations.[5] In April 2004, Paton was convicted of supplying cannabis and fined £200,000.[6] In 2003, he was accused of trying to rape the Bay City Rollers guitarist, Pat McGlynn, in a hotel room in 1977.[7] The police decided there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.[8]

Paton died of a suspected heart attack aged 70 at his Edinburgh home on 8 April 2009.[9] At the time of his death he weighed 25 stone (350 lb; 160 kg).[8]


  1. ^ a b Sweeting, Adam (9 April 2009). "Obituary: Tam Paton". Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2018 – via www.theguardian.com.
  2. ^ "Gregory Gray, AKA Mary Cigarettes, has died". Hotpress. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Ex-Rollers manager is cleared on rape claims". The Scotsman. 21 August 2007. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Welcome to Tam Paton's weird world". www.scotsman.com.
  5. ^ "Rollers boss sex inquiry dropped". 10 March 2003. Archived from the original on 2 July 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2007 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  6. ^ "Ex-Rollers boss fined £200,000". 30 April 2004. Archived from the original on 2 July 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2007 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  7. ^ Edward, Rhiannon (22 August 2007), "Former Rollers manager Paton cleared of rape claim", The Scotsman, Edinburgh, archived from the original on 15 February 2009, retrieved 10 April 2009
  8. ^ a b "Tam Paton bedroom bulldozed after 'seedy' history". Edinburghnews.scotsman.com. Archived from the original on 26 July 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Ex-Bay City Rollers boss Tam Paton found dead in bath". News.scotsman.com. 10 April 2009. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2013.


  • Stambler, Irwin. Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock & Soul. 1974. St. Martin's Press, Inc. New York ISBN 0-312-25025-8.