Assembled by former bassist Bill Wyman from his personal archive Rolling with the Stones is the lavishly illustrated story of rock legends The Rolling Stones. Wyman, born William Perks in 1936, was the oldest Stone and, as he candidly admits, probably only got into the group because he had his own bass and amplifier. (The electric bass was itself an instrument he'd only taken up after witnessing The Barron Knights in concert.)
He's written about his experience in the Stones before, his autobiography Stone Alone appeared in 1990 just a few months after he'd left the group. And while he furnishes little new here, it's the sheer wealth of his ephemeral material--reminiscences from group members and associates, rare photographs, set lists, album covers, tour posters, memorabilia etc--that make this book so impressive. It's very obviously a Dorling Kindersley creation and suffers, occasionally, from this reference publishers "visual information for visual information's sake" approach to design--a map of Britain illustrating the Stones' birthplaces is studded with little fire icons to show areas "subjected to extensive wartime bombing". Luckily, such clutter doesn't distract from the fact that this is still Wyman's chronicle of rock's Satanic Majesties; and as such, it's a "with pictures" tale of sex, drugs, arrests, deaths, solo projects (including Wyman's own postmodern pop classic Je Suis un Rock Star), legal wrangles and rock & roll. --Travis Elborough
The Rolling Stones, commonly referred to as the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band, epitomize everything that's excessive, lavish, exciting, and powerful about rock music. Here, founding member and bass player Bill Wyman presents an honest and humorous account that serves as a backstage pass to the band's history, from drug busts, to tax exile, to solo careers. Straight from Wyman's huge personal archive, "Rolling with the Stones" features previously unreleased letters, photographs, memorabilia, and personal journals. With over 2000 photographs, more than 45 beautifully designed tour spreads, song lists from every show, and biographies on each band member.