Bassist Bill Wyman made a celebrated return to the Rolling Stones last year, as part of their 50th anniversary concert dates at London’s 02 Arena. But Wyman says he’s thrilled these days to get back to his working band, the Rhythm Kings.
“I do more variety,” Wyman told the BBC. “We play jazz, blues, soul, rock, gospel, rockabilly. We play a complete mixture of music. I’m not keen on just doing one now.”
Wyman co-founded the Stones in 1962 and was with them for some 24 studio albums. He left after three decades, following the group’s massive tour in support of their late-1980s comeback effortSteel Wheels.
Since 1997, Wyman has led a shifting amalgam called the Rhythm Kings that has, over the years, including Gary Booker, Albert Lee, Georgie Fame and Martin Taylor. Plenty of famous friends have sat in over the years too, including George Harrison, Peter Frampton and even ex-Rolling Stones bandmate Mick Taylor.
The Rhythm Kings’ eclectic output was celebrated in 2011 with an all-encompassing Collector’s Edition Box Set. In November of 2012, Wyman twice rejoined the Stones for two songs — “Honky Tonk Women” and “It’s Only Rock and Roll,” but declined to continue with the band through its U.S. dates.
“It’s very difficult to go back and relive something — school reunions, old girlfriends reuniting. It doesn’t work,” Wyman added. “That worked, briefly. It was fun to do. But it was short and sweet.”