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Bill Wyman - opinions?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by patrickroberts, Jan 10, 2003.


  1. patrickroberts

    patrickroberts

    Aug 21, 2000
    Wales, UK
    I have just received the Rolling Stones 40 licks CD for xmas. And im just trying to pick everybodie's brains about what u think of Bill Wyman as a bass player. the floor has been laid open!"
     
  2. Man, have you seen how rich he and the rest of The Stones have become... I mean, like WOW!

    - Wil
     
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    If you've read his Guitar Player interview form around 1977 or so, he's made millions playing a bass that cost him about $20.00.

    Looks like he did a few things right. Decent drummer in that band too.
     
  4. watspan

    watspan Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    okay, i'll take the plunge--i never really thought much of wyman. I felt he was adequate, but nothing special in terms of tone, technique or memorable lines/licks. I don't think he contributed much to the stones in terms of songwriting or stage presence either.
     
  5. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I didn't realize the stones had a bass player.
     
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    For as many bassists that are great at thier craft, there are as many bass players that are virtually anonymous in thier respective bands that are just as(if not more) successful.

    Wyman most certainly doesn't show us anything "new", nor does he neccesarily have a "cache" of tricks and licks. But, he was the Stones' bass player for an eternity.

    And a good musician knows how to help a song, as well as support a great song(s).

    You don't have to admire him, but I do.
     
  7. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Illinoize
    Ditto. In addition to his work with The Stones, He is a very solid Blues player as well. I have a CD where he plays with Buddy Guy & Junior Wells (along with "Pinetop" Perkins on piano) at the Montreaux Jazz Fest and he can definitely hold his own.
     
  8. corinpills

    corinpills

    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I don't know, he played some pretty fabulous bass on their earlier, more R&B oriented material. Even on somthing as obvious as "Satisfaction", give a listen to the way the bass pulls against the guitar riff. I bet a lot of people in cover bands play taht one wrong. He played particularly well on the "Aftermath" album. Dig the feel on "Under My Thumb", pretty great. In the mid 70s, alot of the bass lines were layed down by Keith (though Wyman swears taht he came up with the "Jumping Jack Flash" riff- songwriting credits to the contrary), but he came up with some really cool parts in the 70s. Some Girls through Tatto You are great albums and Wyman really shines there. he's one of the few rock players of the 70's who took a bit of influence from some of the funk and disco stuff happening then and didn't sound lame trying it. Check out the bass on "Miss You".

    Real solid tone, great feel, not too busy, doesn't say much- sounds like what everyone actually wants from a bass player.
     
  9. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    ..but "Fingerprint File" is cooler. I think that's a Wyman one.

    The great "fifth Beatle" Billy Preston invented the "Miss You" bass line though.
     
  10. corinpills

    corinpills

    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    hmmm, I don't get you on that. I'm a pretty big Billy Preston fan (his two Apple albums are required listening at my place), but, as far as I recall, it was Ian McGlagan from the Faces who played keys on Miss You. Is there a Billy Preston song that's similar or something?

    I'm not actually even a giant "Miss You" fan, but that was a pretty good period for Bill Wyman. Actually, as dodgy a song as it may have been, the bass line to "Undercover Of The Night" is a pretty good example of Wyman's latter bass playing style. He has a way of switching octaves in unorthodox spots.
     
  11. in Bill Wyman's interview with Guitar Player, that's in the "Bass heroes" book, he says Billy Preston picked up Wyman's bass while he was out of the studio and came up with the idea for "Miss you" on a rough demo.
    the others suggested Wyman play around Preston's idea for the final recorded version a year later.
     
  12. corinpills

    corinpills

    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Wow, I'd never heard that before. Not that this is a BIlly Pretson thread, but that cat is ultra muiscal. Some of his 70's stuff is too disco-y for me, but his early material is genius.

    By the way, this Wyman thread made me go digging under the bed for my Framus Star bass. Man, I love playing that sucker. It's kind of like a Hofner and it is perfect for those 60's brit tunes. I'm gonna go and play along to "Between The Buttons" for a while.
     
  13. Winston TK

    Winston TK Hairpiece Adventurer

    Oct 8, 2001
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    Wyman is one of the quintessential "deceptively simple" bassists ever.

    There is much more going on with his style than many people realize. The above comment about his line in "Satisfaction" is a good one. It's a classic riff in itself, and is considerably different than the main guitar riff.

    What always struck me about Wyman though, was his bizarre ability to leave out notes, especially on key beats in the measure. It was always the way he DIDN'T play that set him apart, in my opinion.

    Of course, his bastardized disco grooves are classic listening.

    This guy offered a great deal of intriguing bass playing. If people took the time to really listen. It's a shame that much more is said about his monetary wealth. Although this is certainly impressive, it shouldn't overshadow his musical abilities. They were undeniable.

    (Besides, he was quite a bit older than any of the other Stones -- except for Charlie -- and looked like the youngest one during his whole stint with the band. His deal with the devil, and his love for drastically younger women, certainly served him well.)
     
  14. Winston TK

    Winston TK Hairpiece Adventurer

    Oct 8, 2001
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    Wyman is one of the quintessential "deceptively simple" bassists ever.

    There is much more going on with his style than many people realize. The above comment about his line in "Satisfaction" is a good one. It's a classic riff in itself, and is considerably different than the main guitar riff.

    What always struck me about Wyman though, was his bizarre ability to leave out notes, especially on key beats in the measure. It was always the way he DIDN'T play that set him apart, in my opinion.

    Of course, his bastardized disco grooves are classic listening.

    This guy offered a great deal of intriguing bass playing. If people took the time to really listen. It's a shame that much more is said about his monetary wealth. Although this is certainly impressive, it shouldn't overshadow his musical abilities. They were undeniable.

    (Besides, he was quite a bit older than any of the other Stones -- except for Charlie -- and looked like the youngest one during his whole stint with the band. His deal with the devil, and his love for drastically younger women, certainly served him well.)
     
  15. I've generally liked Wyman's work...when it can be identified.

    I'm surprised no one else has mentioned that Wyman did NOT play bass on quite a few "classic" Stones tracks. For example, "Sympathy For The Devil" is Richards, "Emotional Rescue" is Wood (no surprise there; Ronnie played some pretty tasty stuff as the bassist in the Jeff Beck Group), and there are quite a few others.

    Some of the stuff that *is* Wyman's--"Under My Thumb," "Satisfaction"--is very tasty, and serves the songs well.

    Also, Wyman said in his book that, while jamming with the band one day, he threw out a riff and played with it for awhile. The next day, Richards comes in with a new song, "Jumping Jack Flash"--based on Wyman's riff! But no credit! Between that, his non-appearance on a number of Stones tracks, and the whole "In Another Land" story off Satanic Majesties, it's no wonder he seems a bit cynical about the whole thing at times.
     
  16. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    A long time ago, I read in an interview of Keith Richards that the Fingerprint File bassline was played and recorded by Mick Taylor.

    According to the same interview, in the same album ("It's only rock'n'roll"), Mick also played bass in "Time waits for no-one", Keith played bass in "If you can't rock me", and the bass in "It's only rock'n'roll" was by Willie Weeks.
     
  17. I'm going to get a few people offside, but what the heck......Wyman was a great bassist, because he fulfilled the requirements, and any bassist that does that is great in my estimation. People who say things like he never added to stage presence....bollocks! There was so much movement going on with other members of the band that he was the perfect foil, much like John Enwhistle's situation. People say his lines were'nt great....bollocks! He's the bassplayer, he's supposed to be laying a strong foundation for the twin guitar attack to build on. If he was more artsy-fartsy, the foundation would not have been there, so he was perfect.
    In this day and age, everyone's hung up on trying to play like Victor, or Jaco, or Rocco, or Jamerson, and while self-betterment is commendable, it seems to me that the FUNCTION of the bass is being forgotten. I have taken gigs away from bassists who are way better than me, on both BG and DB, because they were artsy-fartsy players, and I'm a meat and potatoes player.
    Before you say "what about McCartney?", just remember that his melodic lines were recorded in the studio, he never played many of them live, and still does'nt.
    The bottom line is.....Wyman was the perfect bassist for the Stones because he fulfilled the function of the bass.
     
  18. Acacia

    Acacia

    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    personally i think wyman is fantastic. with the busy jangling of richards/jones/taylor/woods, he did a lot to stand out. very unique style.
     
  19. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    The Stones have been one of my favorites for longer than some TB'ers have been around!
    Wyman did his thing well, and held down the bottom for a ton of great, classic R 'N R tunes, so that pretty much defines him as doing his job well, and that's what counts. "Around & Around" on
    12 X 5-simple, solid-rock 'n' roll! What the hell else you want!!??:cool:

    Interesting that his replacement is ...
    Daryll Jones! DJ did some stuff with Miles that is off the boards! I saw both Wyman & Jones as bassists with the Stones in concert-I wonder how many listeners, although certainly aware of the change, knew just what Daryll Jones had played before?
    Not many I'll bet!
    I heard that among others the Stones auditioned Tommy Shannon, etc, but chose Daryll.
    I imagine the paycheck he gets makes playing rock REAL sweet, not to mention the touring, the private jets, ...the women.... Damn!:D