By MIKE SPINDELL
“The Traveling Wilburys (sometimes shortened to the Wilburys) were a British-American supergroup consisting of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. The band recorded two albums in 1988 and 1990, though Orbison died before the second was recorded.
George Harrison first mentioned the Traveling Wilburys during a radio interview with Bob Coburn on the Rockline radio station in February 1988. When asked what he planned to do as a follow-up for his Cloud Nine album, Harrison replied: “What I’d really like to do next is… to do an album with me and some of my mates… a few tunes, you know. Maybe The Traveling Wilburys… it’s this new group I got: it’s called the Traveling Wilburys, I’d like to do an album with them and later we can all do our own albums again.” “Wilbury” was a slang term first used by Harrison during the recording of Cloud Nine with Jeff Lynne. Referring to recording errors created by some faulty equipment, Harrison jokingly remarked to Lynne, “We’ll bury ’em in the mix”. Thereafter, they used the term for any small error in performance and the term was used again when the group were together. Harrison suggested “The Trembling Wilburys” as the group’s name; instead, Lynne suggested “Traveling”, with which the group agreed.
Starting with a meal among Harrison, Lynne and Roy Orbison, the group came together at Bob Dylan‘s home studio in Malibu, California, to record an additional track as a B-side for the single release of Harrison’s “This Is Love“. Tom Petty‘s involvement came by chance, as Harrison had left his guitar at Petty’s house and Harrison went to get it and Petty came back with him. The record label, however, decided that the song that resulted, “Handle with Care“, was too good to be released as a “single filler”. The members enjoyed working together so much that they decided to create a full album together. Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1. Written by all five men, it was recorded over a ten-day period in May 1988, and released on October 18. The album was recorded in the house and garden of Eurythmics member Dave Stewart. The “Wilburys” joke was extended further, with the band members credited under various pseudonyms and pretending to be half-brothers – sons of a fictional Charles Truscott Wilbury, Sr”
Given the composition of this band it couldn’t help but produce great music and is one of my favorites. The first song “End of the Line” is a comfort to me with its line:
“Even if you’re old and grey, you’ve still got something to say”