Happy Birthday to former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, who turns 82 today (October 24th). Wyman, who quit the Stones in 1991, was on hand for the band's 2012 London shows as part of their 50 & Counting Tour. Both Wyman and longtime fans were disappointed that he was relegated to only two songs during the shows, sitting with the band during “It's Only Rock N' Roll” and “Honky Tonk Women.” Last April saw the release of Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings' latest album, Studio Time.
It was announced last year that Wyman will be the subject of a new documentary. The North American rights to the film, titled, The Quiet One, has been acquired by Sundance Selects and is being directed by Oliver Murray and produced with Wyman's full cooperation. Deadline.com reported that The Quiet One, “follows the highs and lows of Wyman’s career and features unseen film footage he shot and photographs he took over the years, amassing a vast archive of memorabilia. He also kept a daily diary.” The film is still currently in production and no street date has been announced.
Wyman, who has recently battled prostate cancer, explained why he finally allowed his story to be documented: “My life has been an extraordinary adventure. The time feels right to delve into the archive and tell my story before I croak.”
On October 28th, 2016 Wyman performed at the “Bill Wyman 80th Birthday Gala” at London's Indigo at The O2. Among the performers saluting the Stones bassist were: Robert Plant, Van Morrison, Mark Nobler, Simply Red's Mick Hucknall, Bob Geldof, and Steve Van Zandt.
From the band's earliest days, Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts provided the solid rhythm section behind band leaders Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and the late Brian Jones. Wyman, whose real name is William Perks, was several years older than the rest of the band and caught the music bug much earlier than his bandmates, who were first smitten by the early Elvis Presley and Eddie Cochran singles. By the time Wyman joined the band, he was already a father and a veteran of Britain's Royal Air Force.
Wyman, who was also a songwriter, was all but barred from incorporating his own music into the band's repertoire. In the three decades Wyman was with the Stones, he was only able to get two of his songs onto the band's albums: 1967's “In Another Land” on Their Satanic Majesties Request, and “Downtown Suzie,” an outtake from 1968's Beggar's Banquet that was eventually included on the 1975 Metamorphosis compilation. Wyman has also gone on record saying that he composed the Stones' signature opening riff to 1968's “Jumpin' Jack Flash,” yet never received credit.
He released several critically acclaimed and musically diverse solo albums throughout the '70s and '80s, including Monkey Grip and Stone Alone, and even scored a surprise 1981 Top 20 UK hit with “(Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star.”
Although Wyman's bass playing was always solid, he was affectionately dubbed the “invisible bassist,” in contrast to his contemporaries Paul McCartney of the Beatles and the late John Entwistle of the Who, both of whom were considered more distinctive and innovative.
Among the many up-and-coming musicians Wyman discovered was the 14-year-old guitarist Peter Frampton.
Shortly after the band's successful 1989-1990 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle tour, Wyman officially quit the Stones, although the formal announcement wasn't made until 1993. Wyman explained at the time that he had gotten to a point where he wanted his time to be completely his own: “One of the main reasons I left the Stones was I didn't really want to tour anymore, and I didn't want to spend six months in a studio cutting a record. I didn't want to be that much away from my family. I do have a little family now — of three little girls of 6, and 5, and nearly 3. I do like to be at home.”
Source: Pulse of Radio