Bill Wyman on how Rolling Stones owe their success to Brian Jones: “I don’t care what you say about Mick and Keith”

“If it hadn’t been for Brian they probably would have had a different band in Dartford.”

Bassist Bill Wyman has looked back on the “bitchy” behaviour of his former bandmates in the Rolling Stones, while posturing a claim that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards owe their success to Brian Jones.

In an interview with Classic Rock yesterday, Bill Wyman opened up about the experiences he had during his time with The Rolling Stones. He spoke of Brian Jones importance in the band’s status in rock history.

“I don’t care what you say about Mick and Keith, if it hadn’t been for Brian they probably would have had a different band in Dartford, out in the sticks where they lived. They weren’t Londoners, though Mick always tries on his cockney accent, which he doesn’t deserve, really. The only working-class ones in the Stones were me and Charlie [Watts].”

“He could be really sweet and lovely and was more intelligent than any of the others… I’ve always said good things about him because he was the creator of The Rolling Stones,” Wyman said, recalling his time working alongside Jones.

A member of the band between the period of 1962 and 1993, the bassist also goes on to describe the hostile reception he received from the members upon announcing his departure.

“It was quite stressful and they didn’t want me to leave. So they became bitchy,” he reflects. “Instead of being nice and saying: ‘Great 30 years. Cheers mate,’ Mick would say the most absurd, stupid things, with that spoilt attitude he had. He’d say things like: ‘Oh well, if anybody has to play bass I’ll do it. It can’t be that hard.’”

He continues, “Keith said: ‘No one leaves this band unless they’re in a wooden box.’ [and after two years,] Mick and Charlie came over and spent the evening with me, trying to talk me into staying.”

Progressing to admit that he now has a more friendly relationship with his former bandmates, he adds:

“It’s like distant relatives – you’ve got an Auntie Elsie and an Uncle Fred who are really charming but you don’t want to see them all the time. Have I had any regrets about not going back? None whatsoever.”


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