Bill Wyman has set the record for the highest selling bass guitar and amplifier at the three-day “Property From Bill Wyman And His Rolling Stones Archive” sale via Juliens Auctions. Rolling Stone reported Wyman’s 1969 Fender Mustang bass with a competition orange finish, which was a mainstay of Stones concerts and recording sessions in 1969 and 1970, sold for a whopping $384,000. The sale beat out the $204,800 paid in 2013 for a left handed Hofner bass once gifted to Paul McCartney.
Also raising eyebrows was Wyman’s legendary 1962 Vox AC30 Normal model amplifier, which snagged a cool $106,250 — easily besting last year's sale of two of David Gilmour's prized amps. Wyman's Vox AC30 is particularly historic, seeing as Wyman owning professional gear the band could use cemented his membership into the Stones.
Among the other legendary instruments auctioned were Wyman's signature 1965 Vox 'Wyman Bass' model Teardrop bass; his 1974 Dan Armstrong Prototype most famously used in the 1981 “Start Me Up” video; and Brian Jones' gold top Les Paul guitar used during his last performance with the band in December 1968 during the taping of The Rock And Roll Circus.
A portion of the proceeds from the auction benefited the Prince’s Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute.
Amazingly, Bill Wyman has been out of the Rolling Stones nearly as long than he was with them. Noted Stones historian Bill German explained the back story on Wyman's 1991 departure from the band: “He does the Steel Wheels tour in 1989 in the U.S. and then that continues on to Europe, where they call it the Urban Jungle tour in 1990. And after that, Bill feels, 'Y'know, we've done it. That's it, this is as good as it possibly could get.' I think Bill wanted the Stones to all retire with him. And when they wouldn't, he realized he had to leave. But, he didn't wanna fly anymore, he really didn't wanna be part of the band anymore, he got tired of a lot of the politics in the business, y'know? And he just didn't wanna do it anymore!”
AUDIO: BILL GERMAN ON BILL WYMAN QUITTING THE ROLLING STONES