Bill Wyman: The Rolling Stones get satisfaction with Christmas gifts
Bill Wyman says he and The Rolling Stones send each other Christmas presents every year.
The 86-year-old bassist played in the iconic rock band between 1962 and 1993, and he insists he has remained close to singer Sir Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards - who, along with Bill, formed the group with guitarist Brian Jones and drummer Charlie Watts.
Bill gets scented candles from Keith every Yule Tide and says the trio are "like distant relatives".
Speaking to Classic Rock online, he spilled: "Keith still sends me scented candles at Christmas. We all send each other birthday and Christmas presents. It’s still a family thing, social not business, and it works really well. 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."
Bill admits when he left The Stones for good it did take time for him to get back on friendly terms with Mick, 79, and Keith, 78, because they were desperate for him to keep playing with the band.
The Rhythm Kings musician - who last played with the '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' hitmakers was on the 'Urban Jungle Tour' in 1990 - said: "When I first left the Stones it took a few months to rebuild that relationship with them. It was quite stressful and they didn’t want me to leave. So they became b*****. 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.'
"And Keith said, 'No one leaves this band unless they’re in a wooden box.' Anyway, they left the door open for me for two years. Charlie and Mick would phone and say, 'You’re not really leaving are you? Have you re-thought it?' Then when it came time for them to do the ’94/’95 tour they had to make a final decision. Mick and Charlie came over and spent the evening with me, trying to talk me into staying. Have I had any regrets about not going back? None whatsoever."