Just when you start to think Facebook is a complete waste of Internet space, jammed with nothing but lame posts — girlies sharing stories about how much fun they had going bra shopping with their BFFs; twits sharing photos of their pets in rabbinical attire — someone comes along and presents an enlightening tidbit that moves us to ponder life’s great concerns. Why, just the other day, one of my friends posted something on the social media behemoth that got me to thinking about a topic that’s long been of supreme importance to the music community: the sex appeal of a rock band’s bass guitar player. Just check out this sad, but all-too-common incident:
Groupie Accidentally Sleeps with Bass Player
LOUISVILLE, KY – The day after The Academy concert, Victoria Jorgensen, 22, was terrified to realize that she had accidentally slept with the band’s bass player – mistaking him for someone important in the band.
“I can’t believe how stupid I was,” said Jorgensen. “I mean, I went up to the guy and was like ‘are you in the band’ and he was all like, ‘yeah, I’m in the band’ so I did him. Then this morning I was telling my friends and I realized he was just the bass player. This happens to me all the time.”
Jorgensen plans to do more research before sleeping with another band member. “This won’t happen again,” said Jorgensen. “If I’m going to sleep with someone, they’d better be important. I mean, I could find someone here in town as important as a bass player.” Adam Siska, The Academy bass player, was unavailable for comment.
Bass players are the Rodney Dangerfields of the rock world, it seems. I tell ya, they just don’t get no respect. And no wonder! On the day after God created rock stars (sometime around 4 am on a gin-soaked Saturday night in Memphis), he created groupies. And he commanded them: “Thou shalt honor thy singer and thy lead guitarist and have no false rock Gods before thee.”
Meaning, pants-on-fire frontmen and swaggering lead guitarists with cigarettes dangling from their lips get their pick of the chicks. Drummers may not get a lion’s share of booty, but most people can at least name one or two of rock’s most famous beat-keepers.
But who really knows or cares about the lowly bassist, standing stone-faced and static in the shadows? Heck, there are over a dozen websites devoted to bass player putdowns. (Q: What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? A: A bass player.) There’s even a Facebook page called “Bass Player Jokes.” (Go ahead, it’s okay to LIKE it.) Are bass players really just one rung up the ladder from roadies when it comes to getting laid?
Okay, bassists Paul McCartney (understandably) and KISS reptile Gene Simmons (inconceivably) were highly desired by the types of rock nymphs who haunted hotel hallways and paid roadies in blowjobs for the chance to be smuggled into backstage dressing rooms. But there is one bass player whose sexual adventures far outnumbered Paul’s, Gene’s, and nearly everyone else’s back in the trailblazing days of cocksure rock gods. Yes, one man whose insatiable appetite for women shatters all myths of the ain’t gettin’ any bassist. And that man is Bill Wyman, the dark, diminutive musician who played with the Rolling Stones from 1962 through 1993.
In 2006, Maxim estimated that Wyman bedded 1,000 woman during his career, placing him at number 10 on the magazine’s list of Sex Legends. Only two other rock stars made the list: Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, at number 8 with 1,200 women, and Simmons, at number 3 with 4,600 conquests. (As a historical footnote, a Venetian hotel porter named Umberto Billo tops the list with 8,000, giving room service a whole new meaning.) And Elvis is, of course, in a class by himself.
Many suggest that Maxim greatly underestimated Bill Wyman’s prowess. It’s actually rumored that he had sex with more than 2,000 women during his tenure with the Stones, sometimes partaking of two or three fans per night over a 31-year period.
In his 1990 memoir, Stone Alone, the poker-faced Wyman presents the following scenario from the Stones’ touring days: “Brian [Jones] and I liked to share [hotel rooms] because we were on the prowl all day long and every night, chatting up girls in shops, girls backstage, reporters interviewing us, fan-club secretaries. In 1965 we sat down one evening in a hotel and worked out that since the band had started two years earlier, I’d had 278 girls, Brian 130, Mick about 30, Keith 6 and Charlie none. People always assume that Mick, particularly, was very active sexually, but that wasn’t so in the sixties.” (Keith Richards has frequently joked about Bill’s accountant-like obsession with tallying tail.)
By Wyman’s own accounts, he started his womanizing ways shortly after marrying his first wife and fathering a son, feeling no sense of guilt because the marriage was “a failure.”
In a 2006 interview with Simon Hattenstone of The Guardian, Wyman describes a favorite pick-up process: “Me and Brian used to look out of the windows, cos we shared a suite, and we would ask the night porter to go out and get the one in the striped thing and the one in the shorts next to her, and they’d come up, and you’d spend a couple of hours with them and say bye and give ’em a kiss, and then about half an hour later you’d say, ‘That one in the red dress.'”
The shameless shagaholic goes on: “They [the girls] helped get over the boring times. And it became habitual…It was better than drugs because you couldn’t OD on it. If you’d had enough your body didn’t work any more, and it was as simple as that. So I thought it was quite healthy.”
But despite the old in-and-out routine, Bill Wyman did attempt to settle down — with a girl he started dating when she was 13 and he was 47. In 1989 he married Mandy Smith, with her mother’s consent, when she hit the ripe old age of 18. They were divorced 2 years later. At about the same time, Bill’s son Stephen was having a fling with Mandy’s mother! Oh, the one-night stands are so much less complicated.
So, there you have it. One bass player has scored with enough women to make up for the thousands who are ridiculed as nothing more than sexless pieces of rhythm machinery. Bill Wyman is an inspiration. He’s a legend. He’s alive and kicking at 79. And we’re grateful he had access to good antibiotics.
Here’s an interesting clip of Bill on a British TV show. Check out his Mick imitation:
By Dana Spiardi, October 24, 2013