TalkBassists Profiles VI: BILL WYMAN

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Harry Lime, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. This will be my sixth Bassist Profiling. I hope it is a hit with the TalkBass community. Unfortunately my last Profiling became my first ever responsive failure.

    That said, what does everyone think of Bill Wyman, former bassist for The Rolling Stones? I'll tell you what I know first...When Keith Richards was asked what he thought about their new bass player, Darryl Jones, he said something like "The difference between Bill and Darryl is that Darryl took some lessons."

    I saw Bill Wyman on a good Blues documentary on Bravo...he was the host and interviewed and talked about a lot of the classic bluesmen like B.B. King. It was very interesting. In that he stated that he never played double bass...he raised his hands and showed them and said something like "small fingers." He was right, Wyman has some of the smallest fingers you'll ever see.

    Now for the rest of you...describe what you think of Wyman's bass playing...your favorite basslines of his..etc.
  2. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Well, I was never really a fan of Bill Wyman, or Charlie Watts for that matter, but they did hold the rhythm section down well. One thing I did like that Wyman did was Honky Tonk Woman - the way that he only played on the choruses was a nice touch.
  3. his playing's pretty loose- the Stones rhythm section's probably the opposite of AC/DC's....but he occasionally did come up with some interesting lines eg. "miss you", "Undercover of the night", "start me up".
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I've always appreciated his cool lines, how he could manage to subtly HINT at the rythm held by Charlie Watts and simultaneously HINT at the melody of the guitar works of Keith Richards.

    The most prime example, in my mind, is Start Me Up, where he manages to outline the melody in a way that just taunts you, because you hear it, but never completely on bass. It's a very weird line, but cool:cool:
  5. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    My favorite Bill Wyman bass line was "Sympathy for the Devil" until I heard that was played by Keith.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    His lines on "19th Nervous Breakdown" were rock solid and his slides at the end of the song where revolutionary at the time.

    "Under My Thumb" has a drop-dead cool line during the verses.

    His straying from the sig riff of "Satisfaction" was most cool. He was practically that song.

    His work on "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby" was great. In fact, he did some novel things on the "Between the Buttons" album.

    For the most part, while I respect his role in rock bass history, I was never a fan of his. Usually, his tone sucked, IMO, most of his lines didn't inspire me, and the busts on Mt. Rushmore have more stage presence than he did. Going to a Stones concert, indoors, didn't change my mind.

    But, he was important in demonstrating how the bass and drums function as a single unit in rock.
  7. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well said, Rick:D
  8. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    I suggest some listening to "Bill Wymans Rythm Kings".
    Their cd's are pretty good.
    I would say that Daryll Jones has even less stage presence than Bill did however!
    IMHO the BEST Bass player in the stones is Ronnie Wood!
  9. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    I just went to Bills website (
    It costs a fiver to get in!!!!
    Hard times for old Bill then???;) ;)
  10. Thanks for the replies. Taht is odd that you have to pay to get into Wyman's website. I'm pretty sure he spends his time running a restaurant in London.

    I also have read about Keith having to take over bass in a few instances on some Stones records. I just didn't know which ones. I am listening to 'Sympathy For the Devil' right now just to listen to Keith's playing. That doesn't really seem like that difficult of a bassline...why couldn't Wyman play it???

    I wonder when Keith began playing the bass...