This Day In Rock. Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones former bass player Bill Wyman turns 80 today.
Bill Wyman was born William George Perks Jr. on October 24, 1936, in London, England. It was during his military stint in Germany that Wyman first heard and became inspired by rock and roll music while listening the American Armed Forces Radio. After his discharge, Wyman returned to England, married and took on various jobs to pay the bills. But music was Wyman's dream, and by 1960 he was playing in a band and earning a few pounds from gigs around town. Soon he chose the bass guitar as his instrument of choice and taught himself how to play.
In 1962, Wyman auditioned and earned a spot with the Rolling Stones, who then included Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Keith Richards.
The group released its debut album, ‘The Rolling Stones’, in 1964. Known for a blues-based sound that would eventually incorporate other sonic motifs, the Stones were part of the 1960s British Invasion in America.
Subsequent albums throughout the ensuing decades, including ‘Beggars Banquet’ (1968), ’Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!’ (1970), ‘Exile on Main St.’(1972) and ‘Tattoo You’ (1981), made the Stones a worldwide phenomenon.
During the Stones' run of success, Wyman managed to launch a solo career. He released his debut album, ‘Monkey Grip’, in 1974, followed by his second solo release, ’Stone Alone’(1976), which received critical acclaim but poor sales. Wyman stayed with the Stones until 1993, then going on to play with his own band, the Rhythm Kings.