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Review: Rolling Stones Bass Player Bill Wyman “The Quiet One” by Ron Wells

July 18, 2020
2019 Documentary: The Quiet One (Bill Wyman)
reviewed by Ron Wells 
This is a nice little documentary about Bill Wyman’s life with and without the Rolling Stones. There is nothing that is groundbreaking for people who follow the Stones closely, but it is still an enjoyable look into the the life of Bill Wyman, “The Quiet One” or “Stone Face” as some called him. He has always been very much a collector and something of an archivist, deciding in 2014 to open his collection to the public. Included in these were over 20 years of home movies.
Some of the more notable facts are that he changed his name in 1964 from William George Perks, and he was brought up primarily by his grandmother who always believed he would one day be famous.
He joined the military in 1955. The Stones told him initially they didn’t want him to play rock and roll; they insisted they were a blues band. 
He mentions all three of his wives, and tells how he fought his first wife to get custody of his son. Glyn Johns and Andrew Loog Oldham are discussed, as is the death of Brian Jones. Wyman asserts that he was never addicted to drugs, but he did find escape through sex. 
When the Stones moved to France for tax reasons, Wyman met James Baldwin and Marc Chagall.  After the 1981-1982 tours, the Stones did not tour for seven years. Wyman finally quit the band after the Steel Wheels Tour in 1990. He had been with them for 31 years.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the film is when he talks about meeting his hero, Ray Charles.
Charles asked him to play on his next album, and Wyman told him, “I’m not good enough.” At this point in the documentary he breaks down and is comforted by his wife as he recalls the emotional meeting with his legendary hero. He recalls playing with other great bluesmen, and with his own band, the Rhythm Kings. Overall, nothing earth shattering, but still a very enjoyable little tour of his life with the bass player best known for playing with the Rolling Stones.
by guest blogger Ron Wells
NOTE: While he may speak of his wives, and his addiction to sex, there is more to be said on this topic which is broached in this Rolling Stones review.
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