Saturday, 23 October 2010

Britain is a country where old men remember a 1960's band called 'The Rolling Stones' and say " Happy Birthday" to its guitarist called Bill Whyman

Bill Whyman is 76 today.

Things you probably did know about Bill, that he :

* played as the bass guitarist in 'The Rolling Stones' from 1962 until 1992.

* Since 1997, has recorded and toured with his own band, 'Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.'

And things you probably didn't, that he :

* was born in Lewisham Hospital, South London (as indeed I was 13 years later)

* was the son of a bricklayer and one of five children.

* spent most of his early life in a terraced house in one of the roughest streets in Sydenham, London and has described his childhood as "scarred by poverty".

* attended Grammar School from 1947 to '53 and left before taking exams after his father insisted that he took a job working in a betting shop.

* took piano lessons from age 10 to 13, then fell in love with the sound of a bass guitar and decided it was his instrument.

* created the first 'fretless electric bass guitar' and played this in a London band called 'The Cliftons' where he used the stage name 'Bill' Wyman, taking the surname of a friend with whom he had done National Service in the Air Force from 1955 to 1957

* heard that a 'rhythm and blues' band called 'The Rolling Stones' needed a bass player, auditioned and was hired in 1962.

* was married and older and remained an outsider in the band.

* kept a journal beginning when he was a child and used it in writing his 1990 autobiography 'Stone Alone' and his 2002 book 'Rolling with the Stones'.

* claims to have composed the riff of 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' with Brian Jones and drummer Charlie Watts.

* says that "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" was released as a single only after a 3-2vote within the band with him, Watts and Jones voting 'for', Jagger and Richards 'against', feeling it not sufficiently commercial.

* by the 1970s, began solo projects.

* composed the score of the 1981 Ryan O'Neal-Omar Sharif film 'Green Ice' and made a cameo appearance in the 1987 film 'Eat the Rich'.

* left the 'The Rolling Stones' in 1992.

* has a love of art and his photographs have hung in galleries around the world.

* is an amateur archaeologist, enjoys relic hunting and has designed and marketed a 'Bill Wyman signature metal detector'.

* owns the 'Sticky Fingers Café', a rock & roll-themed bistro serving American cuisine in Kensington area and 2 more in Cambridge and Manchester.

* Formed his own band 'Bill Whyman and the Rythmn Kings' and following his 70th birthday in 2006, Wyman undertook another British tour.

Green River :

Stuff (Can't Get Enough)

I put a spell on you :

Groovin :

Groovin' . . . on a Sunday afternoon.
Really, couldn't get away too soon.
I can't imagine anything that's better,
The world is ours whenever we're together,
There ain't a place I'd like to be instead of . . .
Groovin' . . . down a crowded avenue.
Doin' anything we like to do.
There's always lots of things that we can see,
We can be anyone we want to be,
And all those happy people we could meet just . . .
Groovin' . . . on a Sunday afternoon.
Really couldn't get away too soon.
Ah-ha-ha [3 times]
We'll keep on spending sunny days this way,
We're gonna talk and laugh our time away.
I feel it comin' closer day by day,.
Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly . . .
Groovin' . . . on a Sunday afternoon
Really couldn't get away too soon.
Ah-ha-ha [3 times]

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