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Ex-Stone picks France for expo

Exhibition of photographs taken by former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman

MAJOR rock stars are shown in some of their most intimate moments in an exhibition of photographs taken by former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman which is on show in his adopted village in the south of France.

Wyman’s pictures in Stone Alone In Saint-Paul go back to 1966 and include episodes from the recording of the classic Exile on Main St album in Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur, which featured in a recent TV documentary.

He says the exhibition at the Espace André Verdet and at Saint-Paul de Vence museum “opens a small window on my time spent in this wonderful village through the years”.

Wyman took his Rhythm Kings band, with the likes of Georgie Fame and Albert Lee, to Saint-Paul to play at the launch to mark his bond with a “village I fell in love with” on his first visit in 1971.

His pictures explore his life with the Stones and their friends – such as John Lennon – but also artists such as the late Marc Chagall.

He also features his close friend and poet Andre Verdet, French artists Arman and Cesar, American writer James Baldwin and a series of black and white portraits of painter Marc Chagall and his second wife Vava.

Snatched portraits of The Who, BB King, John Lee Hooker and John Lennon provide a rare and intimate insider view.

Wyman still regularly stays at his house in Saint-Paul – he married Suzanne Accosta in the village in 1993 – and keeps in touch with local artists such as Mancini, Nigel Ritchie, Georges Boisgontier and Nadine Vivier.

Recently he has turned to nature photography, capturing the wildlife around their home in the hills outside the village.

The exhibition is in two sections – one of his time with the Stones, including his gold disc for Exile on Main Street – and the other with the many friends he has made in France.

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