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Bill Wyman – Photo of John Lennon
William George Perks, Jr. (born 24 October 1936, age 82), known professionally as Bill Wyman, is an English musician, record producer, songwriter and singer best known as the bassist for the English rock and roll band the Rolling Stones from 1962 until 1993. Since 1997, he has recorded and toured with his own band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings. He has worked producing both records and film, and has scored music for film in movies and television.
Wyman has kept a journal since he was a child after World War II. It has been useful as an inspiration to him, as an author who has written seven books, which have sold two million copies. Wyman's love of art has additionally led to his proficiency in photography and his photographs have displayed in galleries around the world. Wyman's lack of funds in his early years led him to create and build his own fretless bass guitar. He became an amateur archaeologist and enjoys relic hunting; The Times published a letter about his hobby. He designed and marketed a patented "Bill Wyman signature metal detector", which he has used to find relics in the English countryside dating back to the era of the Roman Empire. As a businessman he owns several establishments, including the famous Sticky Fingers Café, a rock and roll themed bistro serving American cuisine, first opened in 1989 in the Kensington area of London and, later, in two additional locations in Cambridge (now closed) and Manchester.
Bill Wyman was born in Lewisham Hospital in Lewisham, South London, the son of William Perks, a bricklayer, and his wife, Molly (née Jeffery). One of five children, Wyman spent most of his early life living in a terraced house in one of the roughest streets in Sydenham, southeast London. He describes his childhood as "scarred by poverty". He attended Beckenham and Penge County Grammar School from 1947 to Easter 1953, leaving before the GCE exams after his father found him a job working for a bookmaker and insisted that he take it.
Wyman continues to tour with the Rhythm Kings, which has featured such musicians as Martin Taylor, Albert Lee, Gary Brooker, Terry Taylor (formerly with Tucky Buzzard), Mike Sanchez and Georgie Fame. Following his 70th birthday in October 2006, Wyman undertook another British tour. On 10 December 2007, Wyman and his band appeared alongside a reunited Led Zeppelin at the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at the O2 in London. Wyman was a judge for the 5th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers. In 2009, ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor was invited as a guest performer with Wyman's Rhythm Kings. On 25 October 2009, Wyman performed a reunion show with Faces, filling in for the late Ronnie Lane as he had previously done in 1986 and 1993. On 19 April 2011, pianist Ben Waters released an Ian Stewart tribute album titled Boogie 4 Stu. Wyman played on two tracks: "Rooming House Boogie" and "Watchin' the River Flow", the latter recorded with the Rolling Stones.