Bill Wyman doing his own thing
April 30, 2001
BILL Wyman has never been happier since leaving the Rolling Stones four years ago.
He is still playing his bass guitar and still on the road, but nowadays he plays the music he really loves.
He has just released his fourth album with the Rhythm Kings a band of maturing musicians with a taste for New Orleans blues, jazz and R'n'B.
He said: "Nowadays I can play what I like. When I was still with The Stones there were always other considerations. Obviously we had to play what the fans expected but I never really got a chance to play things that I wanted to play."
Bill Wyman came to music very late in life. He was doing National Service in Germany in 1955 and started to hear some of the touring skiffle bands.
He said: "Before that there was nothing that really moved me musically. We had awful people singing in England like David Whitfield, Alma Cogan and Dickie Valentine. There nothing that you could get excited about."
But as the sounds of rock ‘n' roll and R'n'B came over from America, the young Bill began to take an interest in music and bought a guitar.
As he toured around the music circuit in pubs and dance halls in those early days he met people like Georgie Fame, Albert Lee and Gary Brooker, who later became the lead singer of Procul Harum.
The musicians all became lifelong friends and form the basis of The Rhythm Kings which is the band that Bill plays with nowadays.
Their latest album is called Double Bill and their latest tour is promoting that album which features songs like the Ketty Lester classic Love Letters.
Bill has been working on a book and TV programme called Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey, both of which will be launched on the world in October.
He said: "I ‘ve loved doing it. I've done all the research myself because that's the part I really enjoy. It has also meant that I have found lots more music that I can use with the band."
Bill Wyman doesn't have much time for the bands in the charts at the moment.
When asked what he thought of Hear'Say he said: "I don't think about them. There are great musicians, great singers and great songwriters. They are important to me. Hear'Say aren't any of those things."
In the 80s he held a concert to encourage new young musicians.
He said: "There were some great bands but the record companies didn't offer a deal to any of them. In the 60s the record companies were all about making great music,
but now they are just businessmen."
Bill Wyman will be making
his kind of music at The Hexagon on Wednesday, May 23.
For tickets, call (0118) 960 6060.