The Saturday Evening Post Movies Podcast July 12, 2019
The Quiet One
Run Time: 1 hour 38 minutes
Stars: Bill Wyman, Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof, Buddy Guy
Director: Oliver Murray
The Rolling Stones were the Bad Boys of the British Invasion, but while Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Keith Richards cranked up the sexual energy onstage and fueled their happy hedonism with drugs and booze, off to the side stood tall, serene Bill Wyman, plucking away at his bass guitar, staring off into the distance beyond the screaming fans, and heading home to his country house where he doted on his young son.
That, at least, is the narrative posited by this music-packed documentary that draws upon Wyman’s exhaustive collection of home movies, interviews, and concert footage amassed during his 31 years as a Stone (he retired from the band in 1993).
We find him in the present day, hunched over a computer screen scanning old photos, surrounded by shelves of cameras, props, costumes, and gold records. Wyman is an amiable tour guide through the Stones’ story, and he comes off very much like a kindly grandfather regaling his grandkids with outrageous war stories.
There’s rock-and-roll bombast aplenty in the film, but the best moment is one of the quietest, when Wyman tries to tell about the night his hero, Ray Charles, invited him to play bass on his next record. “I turned him down,” says Wyman, fairly bursting into tears. “I told him, ‘I’m not good enough.’”
Did any film director lavish more loving attention on the shadows and contours of the human countenance than the great Zeffirelli?
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