The Rolling Stones would have no chance on the music market if they were to start as newcomers today, according to the band’s former bassist Bill Wyman, who exited after the band’s 30th anniversary 10 years ago. Wyman said record companies would no longer sign people whose style was different to that of the charts.
“That’s why many talented young people don’t have a chance. The Rolling Stones would be too different today. They were different then but in those days the record companies and the media were open to new ideas,” said the 66-year-old Wyman in Berlin, where he was promoting his new book “Rolling With the Stones.”
“Now it’s completely closed to only two or three kinds of music. And if you don’t play those you don’t get signed by a record company and you are not played on the radio. So, the Rolling Stones would never make it now,” he added.
Wyman said he did not regret leaving the band and was still in good contact with the other band members. “We are very good friends,” he said, adding that drummer Charlie Watts often phoned him from the band’s tour. “Charlie says: ‘I was playing on the show tonight and I turned around to speak to you again and you weren’t there. Come back.”
He said he expected to see the band members when they come to England and they have been talking about a show together. “A last time or something,” he said.
While the remaining Stones — singer Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood, and Watts — have spent the past year preparing for their “Forty Licks” world tour, Wyman has been compiling what he hopes will be the definitive book on the band. “Rolling With he Stones” is based on the diaries Wyman has kept all his life and features personal insights and insider information on the group.
“Nobody collected in the other bands. Nobody. And everybody thought I was crazy, stupid,” Wyman said. “They don’t think now I’m stupid. It’s very valuable. Now everybody starts to make a collection.” In his book, issued late last month in the U.S. by D.K. Publishing, Wyman writes about the band’s music and behind-the-scenes history, including the death of founder Brian Jones in 1969, the drugs, the groupies, and the fights.
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