The Rolling Stones have reunited with original bassist Bill Wyman to record a cover of Bob Dylan’s 1971 song “Watching The River Flow.” The track appears on Boogie 4 Stu, a new tribute album honoring the band’s original keyboardist Ian Stewart. The Dylan cover is the only song on the LP (in stores next week) that features Mick Jagger, though the others members of the band are sprinkled throughout the many blues covers on the disc. Jagger and Keith Richards have reportedly recorded their parts in separate studios.
Stewart joined the Rolling Stones as the band’s keyboardist in May of 1962, just weeks before Jagger and Richards joined. Andrew Loog Oldham, the band’s manager, felt that Stewart didn’t fit the band’s image and he was demoted to road manager in 1963 – though he continued to record and perform with the band until his death in 1985. “I’m still working for him,” Keith Richards has said. “To me, the Rolling Stones is his band. Without his knowledge and organization…we’d be nowhere.”
Wyman hasn’t recorded with the Rolling Stones since he quit the band in 1992, though he has remained close friends with everybody in the group. Last month he played at an Ian Stewart tribute concert in London with Charlie Watts, Ron Wood and former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. In Ron Wood’s autobiography he says that Wyman quit the band because he developed a debilitating fear of flying. “None of us really believed that he hated flying more than he liked being a Rolling Stone,” Wood wrote. “He said to me, ‘In the future, if I ever get a new band, we’re going by car and ferry and train, whatever it takes, but never by plane again.”