Stones used to fake own autographs
Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman says most of the band used to fake each others’ autographs when signing stacks of memorabilia.
HIs suggestion means that thousands of items of highly-prized personalised items could be regarded as technically forged – and the only name fans can be certain over is that of drummer Charlie Watts.
Wyman, who left the band in 1993, tells Rolling Stone: “There’s footage of us signing things in dressing rooms. There were stacks and stacks of books, programmes to be signed, and we just used to grab a bunch each and sign everybody’s name.
“We all learned to sign each others’ signatures – except for Charlie. He wouldn’t sign anything. But me, Keith, Mick and Brian could all sign each others’ autographs.
“When I see them for sale, I know two of them are not originals. But it was the only way to do it, because you couldn’t pass this stuff around. You didn’t have time; you were on stage in ten minutes.”
Watts is the ex-bandmate Wyman misses working with the most – and that’s one of the reasons he took part in the Stones’ 50th anniversary shows last year, even though he only appeared for two songs on each occasion.
“They didn’t want me on for more,” he recalls. “They said, ‘You only do two songs.’” But he adds: “It was nice, because I loved playing with Charlie.”
Wyman has previously stated he won’t appear with the band again. Now he reflects: “I realised you can’t return to something from the past. It’s not the same – school reunions, the old wife; it doesn’t work. It’s the same with a band.
“We’re still great friends, but I left that 20 years ago. I did archaeology, I write books, I’ve got a successful restaurant, and I’ve got a family of three beautiful daughters. That’s all I want in my life.”
Asked if he’ll be present when the Stones play Glastonbury at the end of the month, he says: “I’ll be on holiday with my family in France at the time – very conveniently.”
Tags: Rolling Stones