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Bill Wyman Diagnosed With Cancer

Ben Pruchnie
Ben Pruchnie

Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Word of Wyman’s condition comes courtesy of the Stones’ press office, where reps released a statement that reads, “He is undergoing treatment and is expected to make a full recovery, as it was caught in the early stages. The Wyman family has asked for their privacy during this time.”

Wyman’s lengthy tenure with the Stones started in December 1962, when he auditioned to replace Dick Taylor, and ended with his retirement from the lineup in 1993. In the years after his departure, he fronted a new band he called the Rhythm Kings, and released several studio efforts with the group. He also joined the Stones onstage for a couple of London shows during their 50th anniversary tour in 2012.

After a lengthy hiatus from recording, Wyman returned in 2015 with his first solo LP in years, titled Back to Basics. Partly comprised of old demos he’d stumbled across in his collection, it seemed to suggest the start of some more sustained activity from Wyman, who joked about taking inspiration from some of his musical heroes’ career longevity. “Initially I thought I’m a bit old for this,” he explained. “But then I thought all the old blues musicians played till they dropped, so why don’t I give it a go?”

Outside music, Wyman has remained busy as a restaurateur, a photographer and even endorsed his own line of official metal detectors, as well as publishing a coffee-table book of personal photos and effects. “I’ve always been very fortunate that, whenever I put my hand to something, something amazing happens,” he told Rolling Stone in 2013. “I meet incredible people and I go off on these fantastic tangents with other projects and it’s so exciting. It’s much better than just playing rock ‘n’ roll all your life.”

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