published: 12 /
Nick Dent-Robinson assesses Oliver Murray's nostalgic documentary, which now available on DVD, is a film biography of Rolling Stones founding member and bass player Bill Wyman
It is quite rare to see a biographical rock'n'roll documentary that is not loaded with egotism, bad behaviour, self-destruction, wild excess, booze and drugs etc. But director Oliver Murray's nostalgic documentary (now available on DVD) about Rolling Stones founding member and bass player Bill Wyman happily lives up to its unassuming title.
Murray was fortunate to have full access to Wyman's amazing amount of personal archive material with which the musician, now 85, has catalogued many key moments of his life. Wyman has kept a detailed journal and been an avid collector since he was a child in London during World War 2. He has also taken photographs and made home-style movies since his teens. His large library and workspace are true feats of dedication and organisational skill!
Oliver Murray has assembled Wyman's story really impressively from this abundance of material. - The working class South London youth (born William Perks Jr.) who attended grammar school and served in the RAF for his national service prior to his 31 years (1962 – 1993) with the Stones plus his many side projects, his three wives and four children and his very busy later years. All this is told using the musician's storehouse of home movie footage, self-shot photos and other memorabilia. Murray cleverly intersperses strong vintage TV interviews, concert and recording clips, bits of animation and audio comments from rock luminaries like Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof and Stones drummer Charlie Watts.
Wyman also narrates and chats with Murray revealing himself to be genial, informative, self-aware as well as the largely contained, self-controlled, humble and reflective soul that anyone who has met him knows him to be. There is no dirt here on his fellow Stones nor anything sensationally revealing or intensely deep. Wyman is far too gentle an individual to ever succumb to that. But this is a fascinating film - and the lovely closing story about Wyman and his idol Ray Charles probably speaks volumes!
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