Bill Wyman

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Bill Wyman Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

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*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

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Peer pressure is influence that a peer group, observer or an individual exerts upon others in order to encourage a change in their attitudes, values, or behaviors so as to conform with group norms. Peers become an important influence on behavior during adolescence, and peer pressure has been called a hallmark of adolescent experience.

Peer conformity in young people is most pronounced with respect to style, taste, appearance, ideology, and values. Occasionally, such pressure within a high profile group can lead to concern and fearfulness, ultimately culminating in extended alienation.

Recalling the events of 1967 when Jagger and Richards were involved in the most notorious drugs bust to date in British history, Bill Wyman wrote in his autobiography_ ‘Stone Alone’_:

‘Although I was strongly against drugs myself, I was put in a vulnerable position by the pushers who were constantly around the band – in the studios, on tour in dressing rooms, hotels, planes, cars……I had to keep aware because if the cops did bust us I would have been thrown in jail together with the rest of them, as would Charlie (Watts). And who would believe that we weren’t involved?…. I accepted that if I was in the band, it was something that had to be tolerated. But they wouldn’t lift a finger to help me in my family situation….so the separation built up…I hardly socialised with the others for ten years from about 1967.

I’ve always found Wyman an interesting character – a rock’n‘roll librarian (a contradiction within itself), a successful restaurenter, a band leader (Bill Wyman’s Rhythm kings), author, and metal detector inventor.\

But more than anything, I admire him for jumping off the Stones’ gravy train in 1993 after thirty plus years of sterling service. Interviewed by Nigel Farndale of ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ in April 2013, the now 76 year old bassist confirmed that he had never regretted his decision to leave the band, either musically or financially.

‘When I said I wanted to leave, they told me I was probably giving up £20m for the next two years. But I had three great houses and some nice cars’. Probing a little further, Farndale asked if he’d had enough.

‘Yes, and I got married again and worked on books, and started a band to subsidise my living expenses. And I don’t regret it because I’ve never been happier’. Pausing momentarily to look at something over his interviewer’s shoulder, the bassist added : ‘I’m sure I’m happier than they are in their lives, I really do’.

Never formally acknowledged with royalties for his arranging skills – the distinctive riffs that adorn million sellers like ‘Miss You’ (1978) and ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ (1968) were his – and equally dismissed as an instrumentalist – upon his departure, Jagger was moved to say ‘How hard can it be to play bass? I’ll do it myself’ – it is little wonder that Bill was looking for pastures anew by the early 90’s.

[Programme for the Stones’ September ’65 UK tour, with the Spencer Davis Group. Interesting to note from the scan, that Bill – then 29 – was passing himself off as six years younger!]

Recommended listening

Monkey Grip (1974)

Willie and the Poor Boys (1985)

The prototype for Bill’s all-star, Roots/R&B-oriented big band ensembles, ‘Willie and The Poor Boys’ features vocal contributions from Andy Fairweather-Low, Paul Rodgers, Mickey Gee, Geraint Watkins and Wyman himself.

The album tootles along with some gusto, and was clearly an enjoyable project for all concerned, despite the unfortunate circumstances in which the project was initially conceived.

Fundraising for ARMS (Action for Research into Multiple Sclerosis), the all star concerts at the Royal Albert Hall were organised by producer Glyn Johns in the face of promptings from former Faces bassist Ronnie Lane’s girlfriend Boo. Stricken with the debilitating illness, but firm in his resolve to establish a foundation committed to researching the illness, John’s A list connections ensured a hitherto unimaginable financial kick start to the Londoner’s campaign.

Underscoring fretboard contributions from all three former Yardbirds guitarists (Clapton, Page, and Beck), and Steve Winwood’s keyboards, it is the Stones rhythm section of Wyman and Watts that anchors the band with sheer pulse and verve.

An unqualified success, the two nights at the Royal Albert Hall would pave the way for some subsequent US shows in Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, with a third Stone, Ron Wood, taking part in the two consecutive nights at Madison Square Garden in the second week of December 1983.

Predictably for such a genre exercise, this ramshackle collection of high octane chestnuts from the pre-rock era, would fail to trouble the charts – a crying shame in view of the laudable motives surrounding the project. Nevertheless, ticket sales and a subsequent video release would bolster overall revenues.

An enjoyable addition to any winklepicker’s collection.

Recommended reading

Butterfly on a wheel - the Great Rolling Stones Drugs Bust (Simon Wells) 2011

Stone Alone (Bill Wyman) 1990

Rolling with the Stones (Bill Wyman) 2002

The ultimate coffee table homage to Bill\‘s thirty years with the band, with over 2,000 photographs, more than 45 beautifully designed tour spreads, song lists from every show, and biographies on each band member.

I picked up my hardbound copy for £10 in a discount shop (there was but one edition and fortunately, rather prominently displayed) and I shifted gears quickly to find myself at the till with all due haste.

Wyman offers his readers a sumptuously packaged backstage pass to the band’s history, from worldwide tours, drug busts, tax exile in France, and the inevitable solo careers. It’s the ultimate five course musical meal – with something of interest to be found on each of its 500+ pages. If your preference is a light snack, there is still much to commend this publication as a general Stones resource.

One to be sampled in bite sized proportions.

Bravo Bill!