Name at birth: William George Perks
Bill Wyman played bass for the Rolling Stones during their peak artistic years, joining the band in 1962 and publicly retiring from it in 1992. When he joined the Stones, Wyman was a veteran of the Royal Air Force, married and several years older than members Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. He had a distinctive fretless bass that he held nearly vertical on stage, and with drummer Charlie Watts formed the backbeat of most of the hits in the Rolling Stone canon, from "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" to "Beast of Burden." He was also the first band member to record solo albums, and made the gossip sheets in his own right for his marriage to Mandy Smith in 1989 -- a model he'd been "dating" since she was 13 years old (he was 35 years her senior). The marriage fizzled immediately, and rumors circulated that Wyman wanted to leave the Rolling Stones. He confirmed his decision in late 1992, and focused his career on writing books, photography, and a new band, the Rhythm Kings. Since 1997, he's recorded and toured with the Rhythm Kings and published books on photography, archaeology and his life as a Rolling Stone.
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