Bill Wyman Biography
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: William Perks, William George Perks, Billy Wyman's Rythym Kings, Lee Wyman
Born in: Lewisham
Famous as: Musician and Singer
Spouse/Ex-: Diane Cory, Mandy Smith, Suzanne Accosta
father: William Perks
mother: Molly Perks
children: Jessica Rose Wyman, Katherine Noelle Wyman, Matilda Mae Wyman, Stephen Paul Wyman
City: London, England
Bill Wyman is an English musician known for his association with the band the Rolling Stones. He was with the rock and roll band for 31 years from 1962 to 1993 before breaking away to explore a solo career. A singer, songwriter, and a bassist, he has also scored music for movies and television. Born into a family of humble means, he had a difficult childhood scarred by poverty. He developed an interest in music at a young age and played organ with his father. He also received piano lessons as a boy. He was exposed to the songs of the likes of Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Fats Domino while serving in the armed forces in the British Royal Air Force at a base in Germany. Back home, he became serious about a musical career and began honing his skills. He joined the band the Rolling Stones in 1962 and went on to have a highly successful career with them and formed a close personal friendship with Brian Jones. He also launched solo albums in the 1970s and 1980s while simultaneously working with the band. Not satisfied with the creative freedom he got within the band, he left in 1993 after spending more than three decades with Rolling Stones. He then proceeded to form his own blues-rock band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.
- He was born as William George Perks, Jr. in London, England, on 24 October 1936, into a family of humble means to William Perks and his wife Molly. He had four siblings. His father, a bricklayer, struggled to make ends meet.
- Bill Wyman was interested in music from a young age and received encouragement from his father. He received piano lessons from age 10 to 13.
- He attended Beckenham and Penge County Grammar School from 1947 to 1953 but left before the GCE exams.
- Bill Wyman enlisted in the military and began serving in the armed forces in the British Royal Air Force in 1955. He was posted in Germany where he first heard rock and roll music. The American Armed Forces Radio played the songs of the likes of Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Fats Domino which greatly inspired him.
- He returned to England after his discharge with a renewed passion for music. While working on honing his musical skills, he also worked in a series of odd jobs to pay the bills. He began playing gigs around the town and chose the bass guitar as the instrument of his choice. Upon embarking on a professional career he adopted the stage name of Bill Wyman, in honor of a friend.
- During this time he formed a band whose drummer got a job with the rock and roll band Rolling Stones. The drummer introduced Bill to the band members and he was selected as the bassist in 1962.
- At the time of his joining, the Rolling Stones lineup included Mick Jagger (vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Charlie Watts (drums) and Brian Jones (guitar).
- The band released its debut album ‘The Rolling Stones’, in 1964. The band was a part of the phenomena known as the “British Invasion in America” in the 1960s along with their counterpart, the Beatles.
- Bill Wyman also contributed to the backing vocals on early records and in concerts in addition to playing bass. He sang the lead on the track ‘In Another Land’, on the album ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’.
- The Rolling Stones went on to become a huge success in the ensuing years with their popular albums ‘Beggars Banquet’ (1968), ‘Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!’ (1970), ‘Exile on Main St.’ (1972) and ‘Tattoo You’ (1981).
- While he enjoyed considerable success with the Rolling Stones, Wyman was frustrated by the fact that Jagger and Richards tried to monopolize the songwriting and production. Thus he began taking up solo projects as well during the 1970s, releasing his first solo album ‘Monkey Grip’, in 1974.
- In the 1980s, he composed music for two films, ‘Phenomena’ (1985) and ‘Terror at the Opera’ (1987), both directed by Italian director Dario Argento. In 1987, he made a cameo appearance in the film ‘Eat the Rich’.
- After working with the Rolling Stones for 31 years, he left the band in 1993. He then went on to found the blues-rock band Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings in 1997 and released its first album ‘Struttin' Our Stuff’ the same year. Despite his advancing age he continued to tour and perform frequently.
- Bill Wyman is also the author of several books including ‘Stone Alone: The Story of a Rock 'n' Roll Band’ (1990), ‘Rolling With the Stones’ (2002) and ‘The Stones: A History in Cartoons’ (2006).
- The Rolling Stones’ album ‘Some Girls’ reached No.1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and became the band's top selling album in the United States. It was a major critical success as well, becoming the only Rolling Stones album to be nominated for a Grammy in the Album of the Year category.
- Another one of Bill Wyman’s most popular works with the Rolling Stones is the album ‘Tattoo You’ which proved to be both a critical and commercial success upon release, reaching the top of the Billboard charts. It sold more than four million copies in the United States alone.
- He is the recipient of the Silver Clef Awards presented by Nordoff-Robbins.
- Bill Wyman has been married three times. He tied the knot for the first time in 1959 with Diane with whom he has one son. The couple divorced in 1969.
- His second marriage was to 18-year-old Mandy Smith in 1989 when Wyman was 52. It was revealed that Mindy was underage when their relationship was sexually consummated which gave rise to much media attention. This marriage too ended in divorce.
- He married Suzanne Accosta in 1993. The couple has three daughters.
- He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016.
- This former Rolling Stones star is reputed to have had sex with over 1,000 women.
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