BILL WYMAN

BASS

A Stone from 1962 to 1993

Né Perks, Lord of the Manor of Gedding and Thornwood's

Born: 24 October, 1936, in Penge, Kent. His father, William, was a bricklayer and his mother, Kathleen was a bench worker in a local factory. He was one of five children: John, Paul, Judy, Anne and Bill.

He went to Oakfield Junior School in Penge then to Beckenham Grammar School. His father played the piano accordion and Bill was in the church choir for ten years. He began piano lessons when he was four years old and by the time ha was 14 he could play the piano, organ, and clarinet.

When he left school he worked as a bookmaker's clerk before doing his two years national service in the Royal Air Force, some of which he spent stationed in Germany.

He worked in an engineering firm in Lewisham where he became an under manager.

He met his first wife Diane at the Royston Ballroom, Beckenham, and they were married in October 1959. . In 1962, he and Diane had a son, Stephen.

As a member of the Rolling Stones for three decades, Bill Wyman established himself among the greatest bassists in rock & roll history; in tandem with drummer Charlie Watts, he belonged to one of the most stalwart rhythm sections in popular music, perfectly complementing the theatrics of Mick Jagger and the gritty guitar leads of Keith Richards. Wyman was playing in a group called the Cliftons when he was asked to join the Stones in mid-1962, replacing bassist (and future Pretty Things member) Dick Taylor. Reportedly asked to join the group simply because he had his own amplifier, he was, at age 25, by several years the oldest member of the group; regardless, his chemistry with the other band members was immediate, and with the subsequent arrival of Watts, the classic Rolling Stones line-up was soon cemented.

The rest, of course, is history, and before too long the Stones were widely recognized as the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band. In 1974, Wyman became the first from their ranks to record a solo LP, the all-star Monkey Grip; two years later, he repeated the trick with Stone Alone. His next major side project was the 1985 cover band Willie and the Poor Boys, which also included Watts, Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers. While rarely the recipient of the kind of media attention given his more notorious band mates, Wyman found himself at the centre of scandal in 1989 when he married model Mandy Smith, whom he'd begun dating when she was just 13 years old; they divorced a year later. Finally, 6th January 1993 he publicly announced his long-rumoured departure from the Stones, announcing plans to publish an autobiography, Stone Alone; in 1997 Wyman formed a new band, the Rhythm Kings, which featured guitarists Peter Frampton and Albert Lee as well former Procol Harum keyboardist Gary Brooker. The group debuted with the LP Struttin' Our Stuff, followed in 1999 by Anyway the Wind Blows

 

Children:

29 Mar 62 Stephen (Bill and Diane)
4 Sep 94 Katharine (Bill and Suzanne)
Nov 95 Jessica (Bill and Suzanne)
27 Apr 98 Mathilda (Bill and Suzanne)

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