Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings)

Photo courtesy of Bill Wyman Com Photo courtesy of Bill Wyman Com

Photo courtesy of Bill Wyman Com

By Thomas Semioli

Bob Dylan opined that sans the former William George Perks – aka Bill Wyman, the Rolling Stones were merely a dance band.

With all due respect to Bill’s fine replacement, Darryl Jones, and dance bands – Dylan is correct once again. Older and wiser than his band-mates, Wyman brought the aesthetic of the upright to the Stones – pulling the frets out of his Framus instrument and thus creating the first known fretless bass guitar.

An electrified disciple of Willie Dixon with a stage presence which exudes the essence of cool, Bill’s brilliance is founded in his intuitive use of rhythm and space. Wyman often played half-time on up-tempo songs – which, along with Charlie’s jazz chops, enabled the Stones to swing like no other rock band before or since.

An author, photographer, and amateur archaeologist, Bill fronted his versatile blues / jazz Rhythm Kings ensemble for the past few decades which featured a rotating cast of his famous friends including Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, Georgie Fame, Gary Brooker, Paul Carrack, Mick Taylor, Andy Fairweather-Low, and Gary US Bonds among many others – now in his 80s, Wyman is, for all purposes, retired.

Among the most influential bassists of the rock era, The Bass Centre in London crafted a Bill Wyman signature bass which looks as great as it plays.

Dig this extraordinary clip of Bill with the Stones rendering “19th Nervous Breakdown” https://youtu.be/FoNSFFhyEi8

Bill Wyman Rolling Stones.jpg Bill Wyman Rolling Stones.jpg