Bill Wyman Says He Passed On Rolling Stones Gigs
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Bill Wyman Says He Passed On Rolling Stones Gigs
Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman says that he passed on playing the band's three U.S. shows last December. Wyman, who quit the band following the 1990 Urban Jungle leg of their Steel Wheel tour, rejoined the band for their 2012 London dates, playing only two songs during the show -- "Honky Tonk Women" and "It's Only Rock N' Roll." Wyman told Britain's Express, "Keith (Richards) in particular made me think that I would be a large part of it but when it came to it they told me they only wanted me to do two songs. It was fun but I regretted not playing more. I was a bass guitarist, a rhythm guitarist, I have to be on the button from the moment Charlie (Watts) does that first drum roll. I came off just as I was warming up and getting into it. When they asked me to go to America for two weeks to do three shows there, I said for two songs? No thank you."
Wyman, who has just released his latest retrospective on his life and career, called, Bill Wyman's Scrapbook, explained that his ties with the Stones still run deep: "We still have a relationship. We send Christmas and birthday presents. They are like family. Jerry (Hall) is a great friend of my wife's and all the kids knew each other growing up. Our lives are still intertwined but it's social -- it's not business any more. Although I am involved in business with them because all the projects they do usually involve me so I'm always asked for historical information."
When asked if he would rejoin the band if Mick Jagger asked him to come back permanently, Wyman said: "No. 30 years was great but I've got better things to be doing now. That time has gone."
Bill German, the author of Under Their Thumb -- How A Nice Boy From Brooklyn Got Mixed Up With The Rolling Stones And Lived To Tell About It, and the editor of the legendary Stones fanzine Beggars Banquet, told us that Mick Jagger has always been hell bent on doing whatever was necessary to change and modernize his musical approach -- even if it meant chucking Wyman out of the band: "1981 -- Mick goes to the Ritz to see a bass played named Busta 'Cherry' Jones, who winds up playing with David Byrne eventually. What happened was; Mick was going to see Busta 'Cherry' Jones with the possibility of installing him into (laughs) the Rolling Stones! And I didn't know that until a few years later when I'm sitting with Bill Wyman in London, and he reveals to me that Mick has tried to throw him out of the band (laughs) a few times and Mick would do this behind Bill's back, but he would get talked down by the other band members."

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