Stone Alone

Stone Alone

The Story of A Rock'n'roll Band

Book - 1990
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Publisher: New York, NY : Viking Penguin, 1990.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 594 pages : illus.
Additional Contributors: Coleman, Ray


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Dec 14, 2013

The book is written more to inform than to entertain, but I still found it to be a very worthwhile read. In the book Wyman chronicles his poverty-stricken childhood and the rise of the band. This began when he joined in 1962, at a time when the group was struggling just to get gigs, through to their breakthrough and glory days. These reached a brutal climax with the expulsion and death of founding member Brian Jones, his replacement by Mick Taylor, the free concert at Hyde Park dedicated to him and manager Allen Klein's cheating the band out of millions.Throughout the book Wyman does not come across as a typically likeable person, casually recounting the number of women he slept with (he was married at the time) and excusing his extramarital affairs as his wife had also cheated on him. He also displays bitterness towards Richards and especially Jagger for claiming much of the band's glory and songwriting credits for themselves. However rather than stand up for himself and insist he be given co-credit for his contributions, he passively accepted their rule. However in all, Wyman must be given credit for the simple fact he managed to largely avoid the pitfalls of drugs (which claimed Jones and to a lesser extent Jagger and Richards) and as a result was able to actually remember and record key facts and figures in the band's history that would otherwise be forgotten. Not only this, but Wyman's courage in leaving a steady job with a wife and child to provide for, to stake everything on a band with an uncertain future must be commended. In conclusion, whilst he lacks Keith Richard's storytelling ability shown in his autobiography Life, Wyman's ability to remember and record Stone history is second to none, making Stone Alone well worth the read.

Oct 28, 2011

Oh poor little boy Billy, you were sooooo hard done by! Mean old Mick and Keith didn't give you writing credits and you were too nice to insist on your cut!!! BOO HOO. Lamest book on the Stones EVR. Biggest issue is that the book leaves off at the Hyde Park concert in July 1969, a few days after Brian Jones' death. Bill was still in the band for 20 more years, but he has nothing to say about them. Which is just as well, since the six or seven years he does cover are told in a formulaic, travelogue style, where he gives us the venue name, attendance figure, how much they made, and the name of the girl he slept with afterwards (or sometimes before, but alas never during). His uptight fastidiously anal retentive personality comes shining through in his meticulous dollar and English pound counts, right alongside the numerical count of female conquests he has calculated for himself and other band members, putting him ahead - BY HUNDREDS!!! You go Billy. Especially in his Elvis-like infatuation with the 13-year old girl he falls in love with then marries when she turns 16. Oh dear God the narcissism just drips off the pages, and so very selectively - always in Bill's favour, often casting Mick & Keith as aloof, autocratic and stingy. I don't see that Lord Wyman, I mean, Perks, is hurting for dough. Read Keith's book, "Life", instead, I'm just finishing it, and it is volumes ahead of Wyman's book in terms of completeness, honesty, and rock'n'roll grittiness, which I know something about after touring as a lighting guy for rock shows for five years during the early 80s.

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