Nearly 30 years after officially splitting from the Rolling Stones, bassist Bill Wyman remains very connected to his former bandmates. He told Loudersound.com, “Keith (Richards) still sends me scented candles at Christmas. We all send each other birthday and Christmas presents. It’s still a family thing, social not business, and it works really well. It’s like distant relatives — you’ve got an Auntie Elsie and an Uncle Fred who are really charming but you don’t want to see them all the time.
Wyman, who retired from the band following its mammoth 115-date “Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle” world tour, admitted, “When I first left the Stones it took a few months to rebuild that relationship with them. It was quite stressful and they didn’t want me to leave. So they became bitchy. Instead of being nice and saying: ‘Great 30 years. Cheers mate,’ Mick (Jagger) would say the most absurd, stupid things, with that spoilt attitude he had. He’d say things like: ‘Oh well, if anybody has to play bass I’ll do it. It can’t be that hard.'”
He went on to recall, Keith said: ‘No one leaves this band unless they’re in a wooden box.’ Anyway, they left the door open for me for two years. Charlie (Watts) and Mick would phone and say: ‘You’re not really leaving are you? Have you re-thought it?’ Then when it came time for them to do the ’94/’95 tour they had to make a final decision. Mick and Charlie came over and spent the evening with me, trying to talk me into staying. Have I had any regrets about not going back? None whatsoever.”
Following Bill Wyman’s departure, Charlie Watts admitted that apart from making music with his old friend, he missed hanging out with him on the road: [“Personally, it’s devastating, ’cause I like Bill Wyman a lot. I used to go and sit in his room and he’s a very amusing man. I mean, whether he’s being serious to me — when Bill’s being serious, he’s totally very amusing. So, I’m used to him. It’s part of being on the road is, I’d go and knock on Bill’s door — whatever’s going on. We’d laugh, or something.”] SOUNDCUE (:22 OC: . . . laugh or something)
- Nearly 30 years since he officially left the group, Bill Wyman stays connected to this former Rolling Stones bandmates. He told Loudersond.com: “Keith (Richards) still sends me scented candles at Christmas. We all send each other birthday and Christmas presents. It’s still a family thing, social not business, and it works really well. It’s like distant relatives.”
- Bill Wyman, who was also a songwriter, was all but barred from incorporating his own music into the Rolling Stones‘ 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.”