Bill Wyman - Rolling Stones

 


 

Wyman was born in Lewishman, Kent on 24th October 1936.  When he was a child he started to play the organ with his father.  His first real job was being in the Armed Forces in the British Navy.  When he came back to England he got married and had a child named Steven.  Bill then took up a job as a carpenter and was in the meantime teaching himself bass guitar.

In late 1962, he auditioned to be the bassist for the Rolling Stones and was duly chosen.  The original line up consisted of Mick Jagger (vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums) and Brian Jones (guitar).  The Stones released their first album in 1964 titled "The Rolling Stones".  This album was the first of many successful ones.  Through the 60s the Stones released singles like "Satisfaction" (1965), "Letís Spend the Night Together" (1967), "Sympathy for the Devil" (1968) and "Honky Tonk Woman" (1969).  Even though Bill, together with Charlie, was more in the background of the group he still enjoyed himself, as he would have years of success to come.  Even though he had had the breakup of his first marriage he still managed to twang away on his bass.  In 1969, Brian Jones left the group and shortly afterwards he died in mysterious circumstances and was replaced by Mick Taylor.  In 1970, the Stones were in debt.  They had got no money from Decca for recording the album "Let it Bleed" and the money they should have had for touring wasn't coming in either.  After Mick Jagger finished his performance in "Performance," (1970) they recorded "Brown Sugar" and immediately signed to a new record company.  Throughout the rest of the 70s the Stones made endless hits and live performances.  The tunes most known from that era are "Brown Sugar" (1971), "Angie" (1973), "It's Only Rock 'N Roll" (1974) and "Respectable" (1978).

In the meantime, Bill was making his own music.  He released his debut solo album "Stone Alone" in 1976.  Even though the album was not a great success it was admired by critics.  The 80s, though, were to come and that was to be a funny time for Bill.  The Stones released "Emotional Rescue" in 1980 but Bill was recording a solo album and he released what was to be his most popular single "Je Suis Un Rock Star" which was released in 1981.  The same year the Stones released "Tattoo You" and they went on a major world tour to promote it.  After this, things were not going well for the five Stones.  In 1983 the Stones recorded and released "Undercover" which was a success but issues ensuing inside the group were a problem.  Mick and Keith were arguing about what musical direction the group should go.  Bill's second marriage had broken up.  In the autumn of 1984, Mick Jagger recorded his first solo album "She's The Boss" which Keith didn't approve of.  In 1985, the Stones recorded "Dirty Work" which was released the following year.   Additionally, Bill recorded an album for his own band "Willie and the Poor Boys."  At the end of the year, Ian Stewart, known as the "Sixth Stone," died and the band was deeply moved.
Just for a Thrill [Digipak]
When "Dirty Work" was released, Bill, Keith, Ron, and Charlie wanted to tour to promote the album but Mick said, "No way."  This led to a Stones break-up and everybody in the band in turn falling out with Mick.  Bill didn't do much until 1989 when the Stones got back together to recorded and tour behind "Steel Wheels."  The tour was a success but it was to be Bill's last, as in 1992 he announced that he was leaving the Stones and he left the following year.  Keith did everything to stop him, but no avail.

Since then he has been playing bass in "Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings" which are a popular live attraction and have released about 4 albums so far.  It is not known whether Bill will join the Stones for a couple of concerts on the 40th Anniversary world tour, but you never know................

 



How Bill Wyman Got His Bass Back

Bill Wyman bass was rumored to have been stolen when the Stones played in Wellington in 1966.  Recently, when the current owner, Sceats, discovered that it really did belong to Wyman, the bass was returned to Wyman.

 

(Vox made a few hundred of the bass guitars in the 1960s and the story went that one had been endorsed by Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman.)

 

Wyman wrote, "I just couldn't believe it had turned up and that you were trying to make contact to return it to me - my profound thanks to you."

 


 

Musical Instruments

Wyman is an adept musician playing several instruments including autoharp, guitar, vibraphone, glockenspiel, piano, organ, synthesizer, percussion and cello. He also contributed backing vocals.  He took piano lessons he was 10 - 13, but was otherwise a self-taught bass player.

 

 

 

 


 

     
    *Trivia*

     

  • His three "Sticky Fingers" hamburger joints in Cambridge, Kensington, and Manchester, England, have all been major successes.

  • In 1993 Wyman's 33 year old son, Stephen, became engaged to his former mother-in-law, Patsy, thereby making Bill Wyman his own grandfather-in-law.

  • His solo single Je Un Suis Un Rock Star was a worldwide success in 1981.

  • Left the Stones in 1993.

  • Was the oldest member in the Stones.

  • Has had 5 solo albums.

  • Father of Stephan Paul (by his first marriage), Katie, Jessica, and Matilda (by his third marriage).

  • While married to Mandy Smith, his son, Stephen, was engaged to Mandy's mother.

  • Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 (as a member of The Rolling Stones).

  • Partner of Astrid Lundstrom (1967 - 1983)

  • Supporter of the British Conservative Party

  • Amateur archaeologist and has a hobby of metal detecting.

 

 

 

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