Wanted: ageing bass guitarist - satisfaction guaranteed: The Rolling Stones have a rhythm section vacancy. David Lister offers a job description

OWING TO the departure of Bill Wyman, 55, to 'pursue other interests' (lock up your granddaughters) a vacancy has arisen for the post of bass guitarist with The Rolling Stones plc.

Applicants will need a thorough knowledge of the company's musical output in the mid-Sixties and early Seventies but need not bother to familiarise themselves with any subsequent output, as nobody else has.

Applicants must be prepared to travel, particularly if the Chancellor of the Exchequer raises taxes, though travel in the service of the company should not occur more than once every five years.

This is an equal opportunities position. The band operates a strict anti- ageist policy. Indeed only applicants over the age of 50 will be considered so as not to inflict psychological trauma on existing staff.

A black bass guitarist would be a welcome addition, though the band firmly denies any suggestion that this would go some way to recompensing the large number of black musicians whose material helped them to world fame.

Applicants must be prepared to work as part of a team. This will involve allowing Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to conduct all interviews, compose all material and take the largest percentages of earnings. If this is a problem, the applicant should have a laid-back, matey chat with them, through their lawyers. The successful applicant will need to manage his own financial affairs and should secure the services of accountants, stockbrokers and estate agents to purchase chateaux and the occasional island against tax.

However, it is advisable to keep these pursuits unpublicised as the company has spent many years cultivating a corporate image of recklessness linked to an anti-establishment philosophy.

On work abroad, it will be necessary to demonstrate this corporate image by throwing televisions through hotel windows; applicants will need to undertake prior body-building exercises for this. Candidates with prostate trouble should declare this on their applications.

Current fads and fashions must be studiously ignored. The new member will have to have mastered largely forgotten life skills such as joint-rolling, cocaine snorting and unsafe sex. Applicants with children are permitted, though no under-16s are allowed backstage unless they are female and sleeping with one of the rhythm section.

Candidates should understand that in joining The Rolling Stones they are likely to become among the richest musicians in the world while being unlikely ever to be asked to perform their music on Top Of The Pops, see their records in the charts or be recognised by anyone under the age of 30. Any candidate who is confused by that should not apply.

The Rolling Stones plc will supply in- service training in sight reading and 12- bar blues.

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