Former Rolling Stones bass guitarist Bill Wyman is selling off part of his vast archive of music memorabilia, including the 1962 amplifier that helped him clinch his audition for the British rock band.
“I wanted to keep a few things so [my newborn son]would know I was once in a band,” the bassist says, “and we made a record and were on TV once or were played on the radio twice, since that is all we thought it would be in those days.”
Wyman, 83, who quit the Stones in 1993, is auctioning more than 1,000 items from a personal collection of instruments, stage clothes and Rolling Stones memorabilia that forms one of the biggest archives of the band’s more than 50-year career, Julien’s Auctions said on Thursday.
“Collecting and archiving has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life and will undoubtedly be one of my legacies,” Wyman said in a statement.
One of the most interesting items in the May 29-31 auction in Beverly Hills is the 1962 Vox AC30 amplifier that then 26-year-old Wyman brought to his audition for the Rolling Stones at a London pub in 1962.
According to Wyman, band members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were impressed with the amp. “They had horrible amps so they were very happy about that. I bought a round of drinks for everyone and offered cigarettes and of course they jumped immediately because they all smoked but couldn’t afford them,” Wyman recalled in a 2008 interview.
The amp carries a pre-sale estimate of $80,000 – $100,000.
“My life has been an extraordinary adventure,” Wyman said, via Deadline. “The time feels right to delve into the archive and tell my story before I croak.”
“It has been a privilege to explore Bill’s vast and unseen archive and piece together his incredible life,” the filmmakers said in a statement, via Variety. “We are thrilled to be working with the fantastic team at Sundance Selects to bring this unique and compelling project to the screen.”