At one time, Les McKeown offered up a very good impersonation of a man hanging by his fingertips to a life raft.
Battered and beleaguered, the Bay City Rollers' frontman had to deal with alcoholism, coming to terms with his bisexuality and the belief he and his one time Roller friends had been bled dry financially.
Despite selling 70 million records, the band members ended up with enough to buy a second hand car.
And the Rollers split. There was real acrimony when in the late 1970s, Les went solo, then they re-joined and split.
But he weathered the storm, dealt with his demons and took to the microphone
again - and his stoicism has paid off.
Les McKeown's Legendary Bay City Rollers are playing a 45-date tour of the UK, followed by concerts in St Petersburg and then a sell-out tour of Japan.
"The tartan really took hold in Japan," he says of the Oriental following. "For some reason we were bigger than The Beatles. There are still new compilation albums coming out all the time."
Life is certainly headed in the right direction.
"The lawyers are still arguing about how much we should get," he says of his claim against the record companies.
"But it is a slow process. My feeling now is to get on with life, although I sense the result is coming to a close."
There are two Rollers acts. However, Les was awarded the rights to the historic 1970s Rollers. "The other guys who were in the band for a while have the rights to later material.
"I'm delighted. I get to do all the big hits, with a really good band who love the 70s music."
Yet, he would rather be back with his former band mates.
"I have tried so very hard over the past four years to make it happen, but it's a big no at the moment.
"Alan Longmuir would love to do it. Derek Longmuir has not played the drums for the past 23 years, and probably couldn't do it. Eric Faulkner remains aloof. But Stuart (Woody) Wood, however, is making the right noises.
"I talk to Alan, but I don't know about the rest. Maybe I should try a bit harder and try calling Eric and find out where his head is.
"I watched a documentary recently about The Eagles, who said they would only ever get together when hell freezes over. And what do you know? Hell must have frozen over."
Les has also been offered the reality television shows.
"I didn't feel I was in right mental state to deal with them at the time. Now? I don't know how an appearance would help me. I don't really see me putting on a bikini and getting under a waterfall.
"What I want to do is carry on singing for a while, and getting some new material out there."
He has, however, made some film appearances. "I had a cameo in an underground movie, and Harry Hill is making a movie and he wants me to be in that.
"That will be fantastic. He is a really nice bloke. He and his wife came to see us perform in Stirling and we met him at the local hotel. He had the tartan scarf on and he is a real Rollers' fan. He was bopping along all night.
"But then who can't get dancing to Bye Bye Baby?"
Indeed. Les smiles when comparisons are made with today's boy bands. "Thankfully, I just have to sing. The boy bands these days all have to dance all night. I don't think I could last eight bars."
Nostalgia is a key component in the recent success. In times of austerity, people want to look back to happier times. What times were happier than when the Rollers were singing Shang A Lang and Remember?
"There was a time when I didn't want to sing Shang A Lang any more, and that is inevitable. But I am so glad I have gone through that phase and come out the other side."
Les still lives in London with his Japanese wife, Peko. He admits pre-touring can be stressful; he effectively produces the shows, works out the logistics, the accommodation, the travel, all of it. And he makes sure the band are note perfect.
"The tricky part is dealing with the American agents who want huge commissions. And, for example, if you play Russia you want all the money in your bank account before you set off. Just to be sure.
"Then we have to go to the American embassy for a visa." He adds, grinning; "And they ask if you have been a bad boy in the past. But they let me in."
But the 57-year-old is happy. And healthier.
"Putting the show on the road can be stressful," he admits. "And because I don't get royalties (at least until the court case is settled) touring is all about the pension fund, for the day I can't get up and do this any more.
"Yet, to be honest, the only real worries I have are about tomatoes."
You have to explain that one, Les.
"I have a big south-facing garden," he says. "And I grow tomatoes, corn, pumpkins and I love it.
"But I tend to worry that the pumpkin plants' tendrils will drag my tomato plants down.
"And if that is as bad as it gets, I'm happy."
l Les McKeown's Legendary Bay City Rollers play Airdrie Town Hall tomorrow and the Ayr Gaiety on Thursday.