Vintage Video: Bill Wyman Turns 80

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Bill Wyman, the former bass player for the Rolling Stones, is 80-years old today (24 October 2016) and celebrated with an all-star party.

Performers at Bill’s bash included Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall.

Bill Wyman was with The Stones from the start through to the 1989 ‘Steel Wheels’ album. After the ‘Steel Wheels’ tour, Bill left the band but the band kept silent album it for some years until their next album ‘Voodoo Lounge’ was due for release and it was obvious Bill was no longer around.

Bill Wyman was born William Perks on 24 October 1936.

The Rolling Stones had been around for a few months when the original bass player Dick Taylor left to form The Pretty Things. Bill got the gig before the Stones had recorded their first single. At 26-years of age, Bill was seven years older than Mick Jagger and eight years older than Keith Richards.

As a Rolling Stone Bill played bass and occasionally sang backup vocals. In 1967 the band even let him write and sing lead on one song ‘In Another Land’ from Their Satanic Majesties Request, arguably the worst Stones album of the entire cataloge.

Despite a lack of profile within the band Bill Wyman became the first Rolling Stones member to release a solo album ‘Monkey Grip’ (1974) and have a hit record when ‘Je Suis Un Rock Star’ was a global hit in 1981, reaching no 14 in the UK.

Bill has kept busy doing sessions and playing with his rhythm and blues band The Rhythm Kings. He also has his supergroup Willy and the Poor Boys which also featured Stones drummer Charlie Watts.

Bill also opened his own restaurant, Sticky Fingers in London.

Bill last performed with the Stones on the 50th anniversary shows in London in 2012.

In 2015, Bill Wyman released his first solo album in 33 years ‘Back To Basics’.

Bill Wyman BBC interview from 2015

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