Richard Oliff: I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but...

Bill Wyman, back left, in his Rolling Stones heyday
Bill Wyman, back left, in his Rolling Stones heyday
Share this article

In 1974 while working in the offices at Corby’s British Steel Corporation I would sometimes buy cut-price LPs from a girl whose boyfriend had access to the wholesale record market.

Mary would turn up with all sorts of records in the sure knowledge that she would return home with nothing but cash, as her “stock” would be swallowed up in minutes given the eclectic taste of her clientele.

One such purchase of mine was It’s Only Rock n’ Roll by The Rolling Stones, which I’d bought for two reasons.

Firstly, I had always appreciated their music and secondly, the cover artwork, which had been designed and painted by the Belgian artist Guy Peellaert.

The LP was duly consigned to my somewhat extensive record collection.

At that time the line-up of the Stones had changed only once since the untimely death of Brian Jones in 1969; his replacement being Mick Taylor.

Skip forward 35 years to 2009 when I heard that Mick Taylor was to be a guest on my show.

Being the music and autograph anorak that I am, I had to think of something that Mick might sign that would be a fitting memento of the occasion. The choice was obvious: a beautiful album cover from 1974.

Following our meeting my album was duly re-consigned to my collection, but with a more reverence given its freshly signed status.

Then, earlier this year, I was contacted by a promoter who told me that Bill Wyman was to bring his Rhythm Kings to Market Harborough and I’d be given access to the sound check.

There was only one contender for the obligatory autograph. However, the promoter told me Bill never signs anything depicting The Rolling Stones.

Someone once told me to expect miracles and, after studying the cover for a short time, and seeing Taylor’s signature – with a few choice comments, I might add – Bill Wyman duly obliged.