Watch Bill Wyman Break Down His Upcoming Rolling Stones Artifact Auction
Bill Wyman began collecting Rolling Stones artifacts almost immediately after he joined the band in September 1962.
“I wanted to keep a few things so [my newborn son] would know I was once in a band,” the bassist says, “and we made a record and were on TV once or were played on the radio twice, since that is all we thought it would be in those days.”
The Stones, of course, lasted for significantly longer than Wyman or anyone else could have possibly imagined. And when he quit in 1993, his archive was overflowing with posters, stage outfits, bass guitars, amplifiers and other amazing artifacts from his 31-year tenure in the band.
He’s auctioning a lot of it off on September 12th and 13th at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California. “This sale features nearly all of the important instruments, equipment and wardrobe in Wyman’s archive,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions, “offering fans a singular opportunity to own these historic pieces.”
In this video, Wyman discusses some of the most amazing artifacts in the auction, including the famous 1962 VOX AC30 amplifier that he showed off to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards when they first met, securing his role in the group. “We used to worship it,” Richards once said. “We used to look at it and get on our knees. To have an amplifier was crucial.”
Wyman hasn’t toured with the Stones since the conclusion of the Steel Wheels tour in 1990. The only time he’s even guested with them since took place over two nights at London’s 02 Arena in November 2012. Much to his disappointment, they only let him come out for two songs each night: “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (but I Like It)” and “Honky Tonk Women.”
“I think maybe they were punishing me for leaving,” he told the BBC in 2013. “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. I said, ‘I haven’t done a soundcheck or anything.'”
The band gave him the chance to join them on the American tour the following month, but he declined. “I said, ‘Two songs? No thanks,'” he said. “It’s very difficult to go back and re-live something. School reunions. Old girlfriends. It really doesn’t work. That worked briefly. It was fun to do, but it was short and sweet.”
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