Stone Alone

Much has been written about the Rolling Stones, and most of it is probably more fiction than fact. STONE ALONE is Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman’s account and his way of setting the record straight. The oldest member of the group, Wyman was born William Perks in 1936. His family was poor and Wyman recalls how he had to use salt instead of toothpaste when he was a child. His beginnings taught him to respect order and to focus on detail. STONE ALONE is nothing if not detailed. Wyman had an aptitude for math, and that is made evident by all of the financial statements included.

As a reminiscence, STONE ALONE is a wonderful read. The early years of the Rolling Stones were harrowing. Wyman makes the point that Brian Jones was the original Stone, and that the Stones would not have existed without his inspiration. It was Jones’s ambition that the group should perfect the rhythm-and-blues tradition that had started in the American black community. The Stones struggled in the early years trying to win acceptance from the musical establishment. They had grown their hair long and wore ragged-looking clothing when they performed. They were in the forefront of a revolutionary wave in music. The Beatles had preceded them, but the Beatles were considered civilized as compared to the Rolling Stones. The Stones were talented, intelligent, and definitely rude. By 1964, the Stones were rising quickly to the top of rock music.

With humorous—and at times...

(The entire section is 410 words.)