Bill Wyman has recalled how his former Rolling Stones bandmate Brian Jones stubbed out a cigarette on his hand.
The 86-year-old bassist quit the Stones in 1993 after more than 30 years with the group, and said its founder Brian – who drowned aged 27 on 3 July 1969 after years battling drink and drugs problems – lashed out as he had a “bad side”.
He told The Times: “Brian Jones had his bad side – he’d stub a cigarette out on the back of your hand and then apologise profusely – but he was incredibly inventive.”
Heaping more praise on Brian, the guitarist added about the Stones’ original leader, who let Mick Jagger and Keith Richards live with him when the group started: “He could pick up any instrument and do something with it, which embellished all the songs.
“And it was Brian’s flat on Edith Grove that Mick and Keith first moved into.”
Bill said he now lives a quiet life since quitting the Stones, writing books and working on his solo projects from his home in Chelsea, southwest London – an area on which he is now a history expert.
He added about how he has no regrets about quitting the band – which continued to tour in 2021 with Sir Mick, Keith, both 79, and Ronnie Wood, 75, at the helm after the death of their drummer Charlie Watts aged 80 following a throat cancer fight: “Not for a second have I regretted leaving.
“Within two years of leaving the Stones I was married to Suzanne (Accosta, 52)… we have three beautiful daughters, it couldn’t be better.”
When asked if he is still in touch with his old bandmates, Bill added: “Charlie Watts was my closest friend and he’s gone now, but I see Mick occasionally because my wife is best friends with Jerry Hall (Mick’s ex-partner and mum of four of his eight children.)
“Mick and Keith and I send each other Christmas cards. I don’t have much to do with Ronnie (Wood.)
“Honestly, though, my life is open now in a way that it never was before.”