Bill Wyman has no regrets about leaving the Rolling Stones: ‘That worked, briefly’

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Bill Wyman probably thought less about today’s anniversary than most Rolling Stones fans. He left the group he co-founded on December 9, 1992 — 30 years and some some 24 studio albums later.

Other than a brief turn with the Rolling Stones in 2012, he’s rarely looked back, instead appearing regularly with 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 too, including George Harrison, Peter Frampton and even ex-Rolling Stones bandmate Mick Taylor.

“I do more variety,” Bill 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.”

That eclectic output was celebrated in 2011 with an all-encompassing Collector’s Edition Box Set, just before a pair of reunion shows that represented his first appearance with the Rolling Stones since their massive tour in support of 1989’s Steel Wheels. He returned as part of the Stones’ 50th anniversary concert dates in November 2012 at London’s 02 Arena, retaking the stage for two songs — “Honky Tonk Women” and “It’s Only Rock and Roll.”

Wyman, however, declined to continue with the Rolling Stones through their subsequent 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.” Since, Bill Wyman has re-focused on his solo career, releasing Back to the Basics earlier this year.

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