Former Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman says that the Rolling Stones' 50th anniversary concerts that he participated in at London's O2 Arena in November 2012 were "great" except he's "disappointed" that he wasn't given enough songs and rehearsal time for the shows.
As previously reported, the Rolling Stones performed five arena concerts in 2012 to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary: November 25 and November 29 at the O2 Arena in London; December 8 at Barclays Center in New York City's Brooklyn borough; and December 13 and December 15, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The concerts featured several guest performers, including Wyman (in London), former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor (in London and Newark), Bruce Springsteen (in Newark), Jeff Beck (in London), Eric Clapton (in London), John Mayer (in Newark), Lady Gaga (in Newark), Mary J. Blige (in London and Brooklyn), Florence Welch (in London), the Black Keys (in Newark) and Gary Clark Jr. (in Brooklyn and Newark).
Because of his fear of flying, Wyman did not participate in the Rolling Stones' 50th anniversary concerts in the United States. He hasn't performed in the U.S. since 2001.
Wyman told the London Times in a February 2013 interview: "In December 2011, Keith Richards called and said, 'Come on mate, why don't you have a jam with us?' Then they asked if I'd be interested in getting involved in the band for a special occasion. I thought I would get quite heavily involved, so when they said they only wanted me to do two songs I was a bit disappointed. I only had one rehearsal and no sound-check so I just winged it. It was great, but I didn't want to go to America for two songs. I think they understood. Well, Charlie Watts did."
In addition to the 50th anniversary concerts, Wyman and Taylor attended the London premiere of the Rolling Stones documentary "Crossfire Hurricane" in October 2012 and the London opening of the photo exhibit "Rolling Stones: 50" in July 2012.
Wyman was the Rolling Stones' bass player from 1962 until he quit the band about 30 years later. Darryl Jones became the Rolling Stones' bass player in 1993, but he is a salaried employee, not a full-fledged member of the band.
Taylor was in the Rolling Stones from 1969 to 1974, when he quit shortly before the band was about to start a tour. Taylor was replaced by Ronnie Wood in 1975.
In many interviews, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards would criticize Wyman and Taylor for leaving the Rolling Stones. However, he patched up his differences with Wyman and Taylor in the months leading up to the 50th anniversary concerts.
But with Wyman's very public complaints about the Rolling Stones' 50th anniversary concerts, it could be a very long time before he's invited to share the stage again with the Rolling Stones. Or it could never happen again.