Bill Wyman may not have been the first bass player in the Rolling Stones, but he joined months after they formed in 1962 and stuck around from their earliest recording sessions all the way through the end of the Steel Wheels tour 30 years later. During that entire time, he was taking photos and videos that formed the basis of his 2002 book Rolling With the Stones. And now much more from his private vault is being used in the new documentary The Quiet One, in theaters June 21st.
The movie doesn’t have any new interviews with members of the Rolling Stones, but the filmmaker did speak with Eric Clapton, Andrew Loog Oldham, Bob Geldof, producer Glynn Johns and Mary Wilson of the Supremes. “It is all of a haze to me,” Keith Richards says in an archival clip shown in the trailer. “If I want to know what I did in those years, I have to ask Bill Wyman.”
“It’s very difficult to keep your sanity,” Wyman says in the trailer.
Wyman called his first memoir Stone Alone and he did indeed stand apart from the band (he was roughly seven years older than the other members and didn’t share the same passion for drugs and alcohol.) As the film briefly portrays, though, he was still at the center of a scandal. In 1989, he married model Mandy Smith when he was 52 and she was 18. (Their relationship began when she was 13.)
Wyman has a somewhat distant relationship with his former bandmates these days. They invited him to perform at their 50th anniversary gigs in 2012, but only for two songs at two shows in London. “They wouldn’t let me do any more,” he told the BBC in 2013. “I think maybe they were punishing me for leaving. I thought I’d be playing a lot more. They said, ‘We only want two numbers.’ They wouldn’t even tell me what songs they were to the last minute.” They haven’t performed together since those shows.