Column:  How Sean Connery’s brother Neil teamed up with a Kirkcaldy rock band

I never met screen legend Sean Connery, but I did become friends with his brother Neil.

By John Murray
Monday, 17th May 2021, 3:10 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 3:11 pm

Our first meeting was in Bogarts pub in Commercial Street and as I walked down St Clair Street, I could see an exotic vintage car parked on double yellow lines.

We were meeting to organise a project for Kirkcaldy rock band Highlander whereupon he would narrate the story between the songs.

He told me the car was gifted from his brother who had been given it when filming Dr No. He had it shipped over here. I remember it as a Mercedes, but records show it must have been a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.

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Neil Connery with Alan McLeod

A film and video release were made from that album and we did some shows together. It all came flooding back as it was announced that Neil had died in Edinburgh aged 83.

Highlander creator Alan Macleod from Kirkcaldy told me some great stories about Neil – and everywhere they went caused heads to turn due to the resemblance to 007 while appearing in Bond films uncredited.

Alan meanwhile had started his music career in Penny Black before being head hunted to join Bay City Rollers.

He reflected on his old BCR manager the late Tam Paton as he did have all the contacts carving a music career out for his young boy band from helping Tam deliver tatties from the back of a van to meeting Kylie & Jason at the studios of Stock, Aitken & Waterman.

Neil Connery, centre, with Highlander.

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Final show as well-known radio broadcaster Ian Ogilvie hangs up his headphones

After a life-threatening accident ended Macleod’s Roller days just prior to the record deal, he would go on to plan his concept album Born To Be A Warrior. This meant a new band called Highlander which saw several line ups over the years.

With Tam Paton still around as mentor they were approached by Larry Page who had been managing the Kinks, but he wanted 75% stake in the band which they turned down.

The final line up saw them merge with local covers band Tokyo with Glenn Falconer and Joe Scotland and new recordings made. With kilts as standard the concept was complete and with Neil Connery on board, the show was ready for the stage.

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