Over 30 years after splitting from the Rolling Stones, bassist Bill Wyman is sure he made the right decision. Set for publication on August 31st, is Wyman’s latest book, Bill Wyman’s Chelsea: From Medieval Village To Cultural Capital.
Wyman spoke candidly about leaving the band, telling, The Times’ Saturday Review, “Not for a second have I regretted leaving. . . Within two years of leaving the Stones I was married to Suzanne (Accosta). We’ve been married for 30 years, we have three beautiful daughters, it couldn’t be better.”
Wyman, who had stayed particularly close with late-drummer Charlie Watts, went on to shed light on his relationship with the other Stones: “I see Mick (Jagger) occasionally because my wife is best friends with (his ex-wife) Jerry Hall. Mick and Keith (Richards) and I send each other Christmas cards. I don’t have much to do with Ronnie (Wood). Honestly, though, my life is open now in a way that it never was before.”
He explained how he needed to fit his own creative pursuits between the Stones’ recording and touring schedule over the decades: “I had to do a solo album in bits between four-month tours, and as Charlie Watts said, being in the Rolling Stones meant five years of work and 20 years of hanging around. Eventually I left and wrote 11 books, formed my own band, did archaeology, photography. . .”
Bill Wyman retired from the Rolling Stones shortly after their 1989/1990 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle world tour. He admitted to us that he doesn’t listen to the band’s recent work: “I don’t really listen to their music now, I must say, because it’s something that is gone out of my life, really, y’know? I never did play the records anyway, much, because you kind of, you’d heard them all so many times by the time the records came out, y’know, in the studio, the mixing and mastering and that.”