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Amid the flurry of activity surrounding The Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary, the band has confirmed that original bassist Bill Wyman and former guitarist Mick Taylor will join Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company onstage for the Stones’ concerts Nov. 25 and 29 at the O2 in London.
Jagger and Richards had hinted in a Rolling Stone interview last month that Wyman and Taylor would be joining them onstage for the London and New Jersey shows, the latter two set for Dec. 13 and 15, but thus far the pair are confirmed only for the England concerts.
Wyman left the Stones 20 years ago to focus on his own band, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. Taylor replaced original guitarist Brian Jones in 1969 and played with the group until 1974, including on the landmark album Exile on Main Street. Wyman and Taylor have been renewing ties with the group in recent years; both were interviewed for the recent documentary Crossfire Hurricane.
Wyman, at 76 the oldest of any current or former Rolling Stone, played on all of the band’s albums through 1989’s Steel Wheels. He left the group after its 1989-90 world tour supporting the record and hasn’t performed with them since. He was replaced in the touring group by Darryl Jones, who’s still with the Stones and will play the upcoming shows. “Darryl doesn’t get enough recognition,” Richards told Rolling Stone magazine. “He and Bill can talk about songs they want to step in and out of.”
Wyman has been recording and touring with his blues-rock Rhythm Kings since 1997.
Taylor, 63, recorded new guitar parts for the bonus tracks included in the 2010 reissue of Exile on Main Street but hasn’t performed with the Stones since a one-off show in 1981 in Kansas City, Mo. He left John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers to join the Stones and played on five of their studio albums — plus the 1970 live set Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out! – before abruptly quitting in late 1974. He gigged with Ronnie Wood, who replaced him in the Stones, at a 2010 benefit and with Wood, Wyman and Stones drummer Charlie Watts at an event in March 2011.
The upcoming Stones concerts, including a fifth set for Dec. 8 in Brooklyn, are among a slew of events coinciding with the band’s golden anniversary. The band played a warm-up gig Oct. 26 at a small venue in Paris; has issued its first new single in five years, “Doom and Gloom,” the video for which was released Wednesday; and released a career-spanning greatest hits set, which also features another new song, “One More Shot,” debuted last week.
In addition to Crossfire Hurricane, which premiered Nov. 15 on HBO, the Stones are featured in another documentary, Charlie Is My Darling, a restored and expanded version of the film based on their two-day trip to Ireland in 1965. It bowed at the recent New York Film Festival. And the band released its first app this week.
The group’s Dec. 15 concert in Newark, N.J., will be available on pay-per-view.
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