During thirty-one years with the Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman established his reputation as one of the greatest bass players in rock and roll history. It’s been said many times that what Bill brought to the Stones was electricity – he had some great amps and speakers – but more importantly, what he and Charlie Watts provided was a rhythm section that was rock solid. In 1993 when Bill ‘retired’ from the Stones most people thought he would rest on his laurels, play the odd charity cricket match and spend his days metal detecting. The fact is Bill’s never been busier.
Bill Wyman has written seven books, which have sold almost two million copies and been translated in eleven different languages. He’s an acclaimed photographer, having staged exhibitions around the world. He’s acknowledged as Britain’s most celebrated metal detectorist, who has also designed and created a detector for children and newcomers to the hobby. He’s done countless gigs for charities, taken a hat trick at the Oval and recently bowled out legendary player Mark Ramprakash at a charity cricket match whilst playing for the Eric Clapton 1X cricket team. He’s been awarded an honorary doctorate; he’s an archivist and collector, opened his own restaurant ‘Sticky Fingers’ in London and found time to raise a young family.
Bill has written and produced for film and television and appeared in several movies. He’s released over a dozen albums both as a solo artist and with his own bands; the Rhythm Kings and Willie & The Poor Boys, as well as scoring music for films. In addition he was the first Rolling Stone to have a hit solo single around the world.
William George Wyman was born on a Saturday in October 1936 at Lewisham Hospital in South East London. His wartime childhood was unremarkable, other than the fact that he was evacuated twice, but decided to return - aged five - to live with his grandmother in Penge and on one occasion was nearly killed by a low flying Luftwaffe aircraft that decided to fire it’s machine guns along the street that Bill was walking – less than twenty years later he joined the Rolling Stones.
Before he left the Stones he had written the first volume of his autobiography, Stone Alone: The Story of a Rock and Roll Band, (1990), and followed it with Wyman Shoots Chagall, (1998), a charming, limited-edition book that presented a selection of informal photographs taken by Bill of the late artist Marc Chagall. In 2001, DK Publishing released Bill Wyman’s Blues Odyssey: A Journey to Music’s Heart and Soul, which won The Blues Foundation’s 2002 “Keepin’ the Blues Alive” Award for Literature. This was the companion book to the ‘Peabody Award’ nominated TV series and DVD that has aired in over twenty countries. In 2002 Rolling With The Stones - the book that visually chronicled the story behind the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band - came out. In March 2005 Bill’s passion for metal detecting and archaeology resulted in Bill Wyman’s Treasure Island and his book The Stones - A History in Cartoons followed this in 2006.
Bill tours every year with his band, The Rhythm Kings. In December 2007, at the Led Zeppelin concert at the 02, held in tribute to Ahmet Ertigun, they performed as the back up band, supporting the likes of Paul Rogers, Percy Sledge, Solomon Burke, Sam Moore & Ben E. King, amongst others. In 2008 Bill and the band completed a 6-week Tour of the UK, followed by shows in Holland, France and Monaco. Having Toured extensively throughout in 2009 and 2010, Bill and the band have just returned from another hugely successful European Tour earlier this year– visit
www.billwyman.com for more details.
Having been asked by H.R.H Prince Albert II of Monaco to support the 60th anniversary of the Red Cross, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings performed at a charity gala concert in Monte Carlo on 1st August 2008. Having chosen as his theme ‘A celebration of the music of the 60’s’ Bill invited Special guests Robin Gibb (The Bee Gees), Eddie Floyd (Knock on Wood), Mary Wilson (The Supremes), Donovan, Gary Brooker (Procal Harem) and French artists Francis Cabrel and Louis Bertignac (Téléphone) to perform. Georgie Fame and Albert Lee completed the all-star line up, along with the Rhythm Kings regulars.
The Rhythm Kings first album Struttin' Our Stuff was released in 1997 and the second, Anyway The Wind Blows in 1998. Groovin’, The Rhythm Kings third album, was met with rave reviews in the UK, where it was #1 on the Jazz & Blues charts for five weeks. Double Bill, which featured the late George Harrison on slide guitar, was next and the band’s fifth studio album, Just For A Thrill, came out in 2004. In 2009 the long awaited ‘Best Of The Rhythm Kings’ Double CD was released – to great critical acclaim.
Bill has taken photographs almost all his life and has amassed an archive of over 20,000 images. In 2006 Bill embarked upon a series of photographic exhibitions. His debut was in San Francisco where he exhibited over 140 images that covered his years with the Stones, friends from the music business, his travel pictures, and some wonderful pictures of the French Artist, Marc Chagall. In 2006 Rotterdam hosted the first European exhibition, followed in 2007 by Los Angeles, La Jolla, California, Tokyo and Scotland. In 2008 exhibitions took place in Amsterdam and Monte Carlo. Further European exhibitions have followed, the most recent being ‘Stone Alone In Saint Paul, an exhibition in the South of France during the summer of 2010, in celebration of Bill’s photographic work from 1966 – 2010. For more information log on to :- http://www.billwyman.com/site/projects/1/0/582
“I love history, and if I hadn’t been in the Stones I would have loved to have been a curator in a museum or something like that. I wrote a book a couple of years ago called Bill Wyman’s Treasure Islands which tells of many of the finds by not just metal detectorists but also those found accidentally. When I was out on book signings a number of people, old and young, asked me what kind of metal detector they should get. I realised there was a need for a fully functioning detector at a price that people wouldn’t find prohibitive. But most of all my motivation was to produce a detector for children. I wanted them to be able to go and detect and become inspired by history.” Bill Wyman.
The Bill Wyman Signature detector, created specifically for children and newcomers to the hobby was launched in March 2007 and can be bought online at: - www.billwymandetector.com
Having already recently re-vamped his website - which features up to the minute details on all Bill’s projects with a regular Bill Wyman BLOG, Bill has an official online shop with many signed items, appealing to both long-term fans and new collectors alike. For more information visit the site and, for the latest news, sign up for newsletters at Bill’s official website at www.billwyman.com.
In 1993, Bill married Suzanne Accosta and together they have three young daughters — Katharine Noelle, Jessica Rose and Matilda Mae. He also has an older son, Stephen, from a previous marriage.
" Bill Wyman continues to spearhead his exploration of the abundant legacy of R&B, inspired interpretations of R&B classics spanning the 20th century” Goldmine Magazine
“High precision jazz-blues-pop, superbly performed by top R & B veterans.” Mojo
“High octane jazz-blues fusion featuring an all-star assembly,” Express on Sunday
"Former Rolling Stone teams up with a stellar cast of players. Delivery is immaculate - a dream team of musicians’ Q Magazine
‘Every song is carefully picked, finely honed and exquisitely crafted’ Classic Rock
‘Variety is the key to this line up as they deftly switch between amiable rockabilly tinged bounce, soulful ballads, rock’n’roll workouts and winging jive numbers with admirable ease’ NOVA
‘It’s music prepared with the finest ingredients - and served hot’ BLUES MATTERS
‘It’s a band that’s taking the best of the past and making it the best of today’ MAVERICK
Photos montage can be found at :-
Why The Rhythm Kings were formed
SHOP & OFFICIAL WEBSITE