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SOCIAL CLIMES

He's a man of the 60s

November 03, 2002|GINA PICCALO | Times Staff Writer

It was former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman's first Los Angeles visit in 13 years, and most of the fickle locals who promised to attend his party (Lara Flynn Boyle, Dweezil Zappa, Little Richard and Dennis Hopper) didn't show. But it hardly seemed to matter. The Oct. 24 gathering at Bar Marmont was more like a reunion of old hippies than a Hollywood fete. Wyman's three precocious little girls (ages 8, 6 and 4), dressed in scarves and fairy costumes, flitted among the adults. More people congregated on the smoking patio than inside the dimly lighted club. And denim, not silicone, was the dominant fashion.

They came to celebrate Wyman's 66th birthday and help launch his fourth book, "Rolling With the Stones," a scrapbook chronicling Wyman's decades with the band.

Wyman, married to his fourth wife, Suzanne, seems as content as ever to leave the stadium shows and backstage drama to his bandmates. He says he grew "bored to death of flying" and now spends much of his time writing and cherishing his family. (Wyman left the band in 1993. Meanwhile, the Stones keep rolling. Tickets to the current tour are fetching more than $1,000 from brokers.) "I haven't seen the show yet, but I heard it is great," he said. "I am very happy for them."

At the party, Monty Python vet Eric Idle nested in a corner issuing witty quips about his friend: "I just came to see that he's still alive." Electric Light Orchestra's Jeff Lynne moseyed in with a female companion. Musician and producer Carla Olson reminisced about meeting Wyman back in '83 when she appeared in a Bob Dylan music video. "Without him and Charlie Watts, there wouldn't have been a band," she said.

Screenwriter Ian La Frenais, who bore a remarkable resemblance to Wyman, his friend of more than 40 years, confessed he missed the wild rock star days of their youth. But, La Frenais said, Wyman's departure from the Stones "triggered probably the most creative years of his life."

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