Suffolk: Rolling Stone Bill Wyman tells why he won’t be joining 50th anniversary tour
FORMER Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman, back for a week’s break in his west Suffolk home, has played down any plans to get back with his former band-mates for a special anniversary tour.
Speculation is mounting that the iconic musicians, now celebrating 50 years since they first burst on the music scene, are to reunite for a series of gigs.
There were talks of the tour starting this year but that looks to have been put off until 2013.
Although Wyman has linked up with Sir Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts for a couple of rehearsal sessions, he has no plans to be part of any tour.
He is staying in Suffolk this week at his home in Gedding, near Bury St Edmunds, and was a surprise guest visitor to the town’s Abbeyfest at the weekend supporting Paul Carrack and Jack Bruce.
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He said: “I don’t fly, so there’s no way I’ll go on any tour.
“I did meet up with them earlier this year for a couple of rehearsal sessions but that was all.”
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He said he was now spending most of his time at his London home as his children were in school in the capital.
“But it’s nice to come back to Suffolk once in a while.”
Wood has been reported to have said that he was with Wyman, who was in the band from 1962 to 1993, when they started rehearsals for their 50th anniversary which they celebrated earlier this month.
He said: “He [Wyman] was in top form, rocking. We also did a rehearsal with him a few weeks ago. It’s like he’d never been away.” The band have never appointed an official replacement for Wyman, working with session musicians since his departure.
Meanwhile, it has been widely reported that Jagger and Richards have said they will not be touring this year.
“Basically, we’re just not ready,” said Richards. Instead, 2013 is the new goal. “I have a feeling that’s more realistic,” he added.
But Stones insiders say that one reason for the delay is Richards’ health, which has raised questions about his ability to make it through a worldwide tour.
The quality of the guitarist’s performances declined after he suffered a head injury on vacation in Fiji, in April 2006. The band, thought to include Wyman, had gathered in a London studio in December and played together for the first time since the final night of their two-year Bigger Bang tour in August 2007.
Wyman, who played Abbeyfest last year with his Rhythm Kings, was reported to have sat in for the first time since he left in 1992.
After one of the longest periods of Stones inactivity ever, the group is revving up again for a series of projects, including the 2013 dates, new studio sessions and a major documentary.
Despite holding off on touring this year, the band is still buzzing from reuniting with Wyman.
“We’re back in touch, which is great, because I hadn’t really spoken to him for years,” said Richards.
Will Wyman rejoin the group on the road in 2013? “I think he’s up for it. We talked about it,” Richards is reported to have said.