The Rolling Stones rehearsing with Bill Wyman

The Rolling Stones have been rehearsing with their old bass player Bill Wyman, who last played with the group in 1993

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The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have been rehearsing with Bill Wyman.

The 'Paint it Black' group reunited with the bass player - who was in the band from 1962 to 1993 - when they started rehearsals to for their 50th anniversary, which they celebrated this week.

Guitarist Ronnie Wood said: "I saw him last week and he was in top form, rocking. We also did a rehearsal with him a few weeks ago. It's like he'd never been away."

The band have never appointed an official replacement for Bill, working with session musicians since his departure.

Ronnie - who is joined in the band by singer Sir Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards and drummer Charlie Watts - also said rehearsals in New York earlier this week had gone well, but the group are remaining tight lipped as to when they will play live shows to mark their anniversary.

Keith said: "We're playing around with the idea [of a tour] and had a couple of rehearsals - we've got together and it feels so good."

Meanwhile Mick has said the band are not taking part in the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London later this month as the group haven't practiced enough for it.

He told ITN news: "I didn't think, to be honest, we were quite stage ready. We haven't played in a long time and we weren't really stage ready, and it's a very big gig and it's very risk-taking. I didn't think the band themselves felt they were really ready to do it at this point."

Yesterday (12.07.12) the band launched 'Rolling Stones 50, A Photographic Exhibition', a free display of photographs charting the band's history at Somerset House, London, which runs from today (13.07.12) until August 27.

The Rolling Stones

The veteran band, featuring original members singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, celebrates 50 years since its formation in London by playing its hits including Jumpin' Jack Flash and Brown Sugar.

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