8 Mars 2016
The 79-year-old musician is undergoing treatment and is expected to make a full recovery, a spokesman says
The 79-year-old musician, who joined the rock band in late 1962, is expected to make a full recovery. A spokesman said: “He is undergoing treatment and is expected to make a full recovery as it was caught in the early stages. The Wyman family has asked for their privacy during this time.”
Born William Perks in south-east London in October 1936, Wyman joined the Rolling Stones shortly after the band’s formation when they were beginning to play small gigs around the capital. At 25, he was the oldest member of the group, and though he was unkindly dubbed “the boring one”, he and drummer Charlie Watts provided one of the tightest rhythmical backings in rock music, including on hits such as Paint it Black and Gimme Shelter.
Wyman left the group in 1993 to pursue other projects, including forming his own band, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, in 1997. The Rhythm Kings have recorded several albums and toured regularly over the past 25 years.
The Stones gained their first UK No 1 in 1964 with It’s All Over Now, and went on to achieve success with hits including Gimme Shelter, Satisfaction, and Jumpin’ Jack Flash, whose riff Wyman has claimed credit for writing. In his autobiography, Stone Alone (1997), the musician wrote: “I was just messing about at the piano and started doing this riff, da-daw, da-da-daw, then Brian [Jones] played a bit of guitar and Charlie was doing a rhythm. Mick and Keith came in and said, ‘Hey, that sound really good, what is it?’”
Wyman last played with the Stones at the band’s 50th anniversary shows at the O2 Arena in 2012. He has written five books, including Stone Alone as well as another autobiographical account of his time in the band called Rolling With The Stones (2002). In an interview with the Guardian in 2006, he said that it was his relationship with his second wife, Mandy Smith, whom he had reportedly been dating since she was 13, that led to him leaving the band. “I had to get my personal life in order,” he said. “That was really necessary.”
Wyman married his third wife, Suzanne Accosta, in 1993 and the couple have three young daughters – Katharine Noelle, Jessica Rose and Matilda Mae. He also has an older son, Stephen, from his first marriage to Diane Cory.
Wyman and Accosta were pictured on Saturday at the wedding of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall, the former wife of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, at St Bride’s church in London’s Fleet Street. In photographs, he showed no apparent signs of illness and mingled with other guests.
Last year Wyman auctioned his vintage 1971 Citroen Maserati SM and a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250 S, which he said he used to drive to the studio during the recording of several Stones albums, including Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Exile on Main St and Tattoo You.
The Rolling Stones have continued to record, tour and perform since Wyman’s departure, and last week announced a free concert in Havana, Cuba – the first open-air concert in the country by a British rock band. Wyman is not the first band member to be diagnosed with cancer, in 2004 Watts underwent two operations to rid himself of the disease.