bill wyman

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The Rolling Stones: Shine A Light (Universal)

The Rolling Stones: Shine A Light (Universal)

Some might say that the last thing the world needs right now is another live Stones collection. After all Get Yer Ya Ya's Out (released a whopping 38 years go!) is the hardcore fan's classic, and we've had Love You Live, Still Life, Flashpoint, Stripped and No Security since. And it was only four years ago that we had Live Licks, a...

THE ROLLING STONES IN THE SEVENTIES: The decade of decadence

THE ROLLING STONES IN THE SEVENTIES: The decade of decadence

When Virgin Records paid about US$50 million for a slice of the Rolling Stones back in 1991 they were investing in the past more than the future. That’s with all due respect to the legend that is Jagger-Richards -- a collective proper noun appropriate given their separate solo careers have been abject commercial failures and largely...

THE ROLLING STONES; THE SIXTIES: Through the past darkly (again)

THE ROLLING STONES; THE SIXTIES: Through the past darkly (again)

Quite when pop became rock is difficult to pinpoint. It is possible to argue that dark, dense and adult rock has been around for more than 50 years. Think of Ronnie Hawkins' threatening delivery of Who Do You Love with these hard edge lyrics: "I walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire, got a cobra snake for a necktie". That doesn't...

THE ROLLING STONES; 1981 TO NOW: On with the show . . .

THE ROLLING STONES; 1981 TO NOW: On with the show . . .

The Rolling Stones stumbled out of the decadent decade of the Seventies into the uncertain Eighties which kicked off with post-disco dance, post-punk, New Wave and other styles which they weren't familiar with. But what else could these rich boys do but play in a rock'n'roll band? Not a lot as their career from '81 to the present day...

ACCORDING TO THE ROLLING STONES edited by DORA LOEWENSTEIN AND PHILIP DODD (2003): Voices off . . .

ACCORDING TO THE ROLLING STONES edited by DORA LOEWENSTEIN AND PHILIP DODD (2003): Voices off . . .

The Rolling Stones have had quite a marketing profile in their 40th-anniversary year: the reissue of all their early albums through to the mid 70s; the 40 Licks double-disc hit-stacked compilation; the 40 Licks global jaunt (billed as their "farewell tour" in some circles) which has been more musically and financially successful than...

ROLLING WITH THE STONES by BILL WYMAN: Every picture tells a story

ROLLING WITH THE STONES by BILL WYMAN: Every picture tells a story

There's a widespread belief - peculiarly pervasive among rock writers, oddly enough - that Bill Wyman's Stone Alone autobiography of the Rolling Stones was boring, as if this was a surprise. Wyman, the bassist who quit in late '91, was always the odd man out. Seven years older than Mick Jagger and born with the superbly Dickensian...

THE ROLLING STONES IN THE SIXTIES (Chrome Dreams DVD/Triton)

THE ROLLING STONES IN THE SIXTIES (Chrome Dreams DVD/Triton)

We have been down this occasionally interesting path previously with the Chrome Dreams label which has delivered DVDs about bands such as the Small Faces, the whole German electronic movement (Kraftwerk, Can et al) and Frank Zappa, as well as CDs of Bob Dylan's jukebox and a compilation of his Radio Hour music (no intros by Bob though). None...

THE ROLLING STONES' GET YER YA-YA'S OUT! (2009): The '69 Garden party

THE ROLLING STONES' GET YER YA-YA'S OUT! (2009): The '69 Garden party

The live album -- or double live as was standard in the days of vinyl -- has had a chequered history in rock: some live albums defined an artists career (Frampton Comes Alive, Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous) and others added little to the sum of our knowledge (most of Dylan's). Some artists regularly drop live albums (Paul McCartney, who...

THE ROLLING STONES; TRUTH AND LIES (Eagle Media DVD)

THE ROLLING STONES; TRUTH AND LIES (Eagle Media DVD)

While it may have been possible to make an even more superficial DVD of the Stones' career than this, it would take a bit more laziness. Relying on newsreel footage, a few talking heads and with no access to their music, what you get here is a fast trip through their fortysomething year career with most of the emphasis on the Sixties and...

STONES IN EXILE, a documentary by STEPHEN KIJAK

STONES IN EXILE, a documentary by STEPHEN KIJAK

Keith Richards once offered a neat observations of Mick Jagger: "Mick's a lovely bunch of blokes." Jagger, by all acounts, has that uncanny ability to switch his langauge and accent depending on who he is talking to: with the turn of his head he can go from plum-in-mouth when chatting with a lord or lady to a Jamaican accent if the...

KEITH RICHARDS INTERVIEWED (2006): Stone Survivor

KEITH RICHARDS INTERVIEWED (2006): Stone Survivor

Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, in a hotel in Tokyo, calls an hour after the appointed time but his manager has previously been full of apologies, and fielding three phone calls simultaneously. Richards is polite, friendly and his conversation is peppered with laughter which sounds like marbles rattling around in the bottom of a muddy...

LIFE by KEITH RICHARDS with JAMES FOX: Through the past cheerfully

LIFE by KEITH RICHARDS with JAMES FOX: Through the past cheerfully

Most reviews of this frequently funny, sometimes insightful and too often rambling autobiography -- Keith + tape recorder + ghost writer Fox -- have concentrated on the obvious: the sniping at Mick Jagger which occurs a little in the first three-quarters but reaches a peak in the final throes where the autobiography/chronological account runs...

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE ROLLING STONES, a doco by ROLLIN BINZER (Shock DVD)

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE ROLLING STONES, a doco by ROLLIN BINZER (Shock DVD)

Aside from the obvious reason (40th anniversaries), there is another explanation for some much Stones stuff from the late Sixties/early Seventies: that was when they became the bad boy phenomenon which most people associate with them. There is also a lot of footage and music, and by the late Seventies and early Eighties things were less...

RONNIE, an autobiography by RONNIE WOOD

RONNIE, an autobiography by RONNIE WOOD

This too slight, slightly self-justifying, frequently honest and altogether typically disappointing rock autobiography has taken on much more meaning since its 2008 publication, especially with Ronnie's new solo album in late 2010. In the closing chapters here especially he spends a lot of time proffesing his love for his wife Jo, how she...

THE ROLLING STONES, AN ESSAY: Living in Memory Motel

THE ROLLING STONES, AN ESSAY: Living in Memory Motel

If memory serves me still, it was schoolmate Chris Gilbert and I who went to see the Stones together at Auckland's Civic Theatre on March 1, 1966. I know I wore a black polo-necked sweater (of the kind that Stones Brian Jones and Keith Richard favoured), and that the show, while not actually changing my life, had a profound --and not...

THE ROLLING STONES LIVE IN CHICAGO (2002): Men of Stone

THE ROLLING STONES LIVE IN CHICAGO (2002): Men of Stone

From the back row of Chicago's United Centre, about four storeys above the stage, Mick Jagger - not the biggest of men anyway - is the size of a matchstick held at arm's length.But even without his roadmap features projected on the screen behind him, this is undeniable Mick. He struts'n'thrusts across the stage and still possesses that animal...

The Rolling Stones: Child of the Moon (1968)

The Rolling Stones: Child of the Moon (1968)

Although the Stones' psychedelic album Their Satanic Majesties Request of late '67 has taken a bad rap, they didn't entirely abandon the trippy sound even as they put it behind them and moved into a more blues-based rock for their next single Jumpin' Jack Flash and the album Beggar's Banquet (which had Street Fighting Man on it). They might...

BEN WATERS INTERVIEWED (2011): One more time for the boogie woogie man Ian Stewart

BEN WATERS INTERVIEWED (2011): One more time for the boogie woogie man Ian Stewart

When he was just nine – 26 years ago – Ben Waters briefly saw something in a pub which changed his life. He was at his auntie and uncle's 25th wedding anniversary in the Wynyard Gap in Somerset, just across the border from his home county of Dorset, and the great pianist Ian Stewart was a family friend who sat down and played...

The Rolling Stones: Empty Heart (1964)

The Rolling Stones: Empty Heart (1964)

In June 1964, when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were still only 20, the Rolling Stones took time out from their short American tour to head into the famous Chess studios at 2120 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago. With famed engineer Ron Malo, who had worked with many of the blues giants who had walked through Chess, they recorded five songs...

BILL WYMAN, STONE ALONE REVIEWED (1990): Insider looking out

BILL WYMAN, STONE ALONE REVIEWED (1990): Insider looking out

It’s probably a bit cruel to destroy people’s faith in myths -- like telling a six-year old the truth about Santa Claus -- but the reason there are so few decent autobiographies and biographies in rock music is simple: the central characters aren’t that interesting. Being a musician at that fascinating interface of low art...

The Rolling Stones, The Unstoppable Stones (1965)

The Rolling Stones, The Unstoppable Stones (1965)

The early albums by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones appeared in different versions in Britain and the States. New Zealand being a colony thankfully got the UK versions for the most part, just as the gods intended. But in some instances we got something different from both -- and in this case, better. The album The Unstoppable Stones...

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