Bill Wyman (born William George Perks on 24 October 1936) was the bass guitarist for the English rock and roll band The Rolling Stones from 1962 until 1992. Since 1997, he has recorded and toured with his own band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.
On 29 March 1962, Stephen Paul Wyman, the only child of his marriage to Diane, was born.
When drummer Tony Chapman told him of a fledgling rhythm and blues band called The Rolling Stones that needed a bass player, he auditioned and was hired in December 1962 as a successor to Dick Taylor. The band were impressed by his instrument and amplifier and by his ability to provide cigarettes, but because he was married, employed and older than the rest of the members, Wyman always remained somewhat of an outsider in the group.
In addition to playing bass, Wyman frequently sang harmony on early Rolling Stones records, and (through 1967) in concert as well. He sang lead vocals on the track "In Another Land," released both on the Their Satanic Majesties Request album and also as a single. The song is one of two Wyman compositions released by the Rolling Stones; the second is "Downtown Suzie" (sung by Mick Jagger), which was released on Metamorphosis, a collection of Rolling Stones outtakes. (The title of "Downtown Suzie" was chosen by the Rolling Stones' erstwhile manager Allen Klein without consulting Wyman or the band; the subject of the song is actually named Lucy).
Wyman kept a journal of his days with the Rolling Stones, and used it in writing his 1990 autobiography Stone Alone and his 2002 book Rolling with the Stones, which provides a history of the band. In Stone Alone, Wyman claims to have composed the riff of "Jumpin' Jack Flash," with some input from Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones and drummer Charlie Watts. Wyman also mentions that the Rolling Stones' major hit "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" was released as a single only after a split 3-2 vote within the band: Wyman, Watts and Jones voted to release "Satisfaction" as a single, while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards voted against it, feeling it was not sufficiently "commercial" to sell well.
By the 1970s, Wyman had tired of the monopolization of the Rolling Stones' songwriting and production by "The Glimmer Twins" Jagger and Richards, and he began to pursue solo projects more intensively. In the 1970s and early '80s Wyman released three solo albums, none of which was particularly successful in terms of sales but received good reviews from critics. His single "(Si, Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star," released in July 1981, became a top-20 hit in many countries.
In the mid-1960s, Wyman composed the musical score of the Ryan O'Neal-Omar Sharif film Green Ice. In the mid-80s, Wyman composed music for two films by Italian film director Dario Argento: 1985's Phenomena and 1987's Terror At The Opera. In addition, Wyman made a cameo appearance in the 1987 British film "Eat The Rich." He also produced and managed groups such as Tucky Buzzard.
Wyman was close to Rolling Stones founder-guitarist Brian Jones; he and Charlie Watts were the only members of the group to attend Jones' funeral in July 1969. Wyman was also friends with guitarist Mick Taylor. Like all the other surviving Rolling Stones he has worked with Taylor on various occasions after Taylor's departure from the band.
After the Rolling Stones' 1989-1990 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle tours, Wyman decided to call it a day; his decision to leave the band was announced publicly in December 1992. The Rolling Stones have continued to record and tour with Darryl Jones playing bass.
Wyman has stated that from the late 1980s onward The Rolling Stones' recorded music had become creatively stagnant, that he had lost interest in the experiences of recording and touring with the band, and that it was simply the right time for him to retire from the band. Jagger has also said that Wyman had developed a fear of flying and had found the air travel required by touring increasingly stressful.
Following his 70th birthday in October 2006, he undertook another British tour.
Away from the Stones, Wyman pursued other interests including opening the Sticky Fingers Café in 1989, a rock 'n roll-theme bistro serving American cuisine in Kensington, London. He divides his time between his manor in Suffolk and a house in the south of France. Former Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham says that of all the Stones, Wyman is the most at peace with himself.
Wyman is an avid cricket supporter, and has been since an early age. His finest moment came in a celebrity match at The Oval against a former England XI when he took a hat-trick.
The latter three books and Bill Wyman's Treasure Islands all written in collaboration with Richard Havers
Interview: Former Rolling Stones member Bill Wyman discusses his book and compact disc that trace the evolution of the blues [DP]
Dec 13, 2001; 00-00-0000 Interview: Former Rolling Stones member Bill Wyman discusses his book and compact disc that trace the evolution of the...
top of the bill ; Ahead of his NI gig, former Rolling Stones' bass player Bill Wyman tells Jane Hardy he's really a Renaissance man
Apr 12, 2010; What can you do with a former Rolling Stone for 15 minutes? Don't answer that. In point of fact, Bill Wyman (74) sounds mellow,...