Nobby and Les’ other former band mates spoke of their heartbreak that fallouts over the missing Rollers millions were never resolved before his death at the age of 65 on Tuesday April 20.
Les’s wife Keiko confirmed the sad news which shocked Rollers fans across the world in a statement yesterday.
The cause of death at home in London was not revealed.
Nobby, who originally fronted the band but left the group and was replaced by Les, said: “Les and I had our differences and we had a confrontation in a court case in New York and it was a horrible situation where we should have all got together and we could have sorted it out.”
The court case involved a claim that Arista Records had failed to pay the Rollers tens of millions of dollars in royalties for over 30 years – despite chart-topping songs like Bye Bye Baby and Shang-a-Lang selling millions.
Band members also claimed they were cheated out of cash by their late manager, convicted paedophile Tam Paton.
But the pressure of fame and the missing millions led to major fall-outs between band members.
Nobby said of the “missing millions”: “We could have taken the record company on and there was a good chance we could have one if we had put something together collectively.
“There was so much in fighting and arguing and nobody could come to an agreement. It was very sad.
“Les and I could have had a much better relationship and its very sad now that opportunity has been missed.”
Nobby paid tribute to Les’s star quality saying: “He was great performer and entertainer no doubt about it.
“He was great with the fans on stage and could put on a very good show – and I always said Shang-a-Lang was one of best pop songs ever written and I still say that.”
He added: “I’m absolutely in shock over his death. Les had just announced he was doing a tour so he must have had no inclination that anything was particularly wrong.”
Les McKeown’s sudden death left family, friends and fans of the band devastated.
Born in Edinburgh to Irish parents Les’s talents helped to sell more than 100 million records, making the tartan clad band globally famous and being labelled ‘the biggest group since The Beatles’.
Les continued to make music on his own after leaving the Rollers as well as fronting the band during various re-unions.
Les’s former bandmate Stuart Woody Wood performed with Les and bandmate Alan Longmuir for reunion shows in 2015 – which ended in more fall-outs.
Woody said: “I am upset and shocked to hear this very sad news.
“Les and I had our differences over the years but even though we had disagreements we are sending our heartfelt condolences to Keiko his wife and his son Jubei and all the Bay City Rollers Fans. It’s a sad day in Bay City Roller history.”
Woody recalled: “Les was a great performer on stage and he was full of energy. I was roadying when Les first came into the band and I saw his first gig when he took over from Nobby Clark and injected new life into the band.
“I was fifteen and he was seventeen. I joined properly when I turned sixteen in 74 and he had lots of energy on stage. It is a shock.”
Guitarist Pat McGlynn told the Daily Record: “I love Les and I know he loved me. My heart is broken. He was a top man.”