Traveling Wilburys

Traveling Wilburys

This is a Blog about Fun, Spontaneous, Gracious and Enduring Friendships! I will use the super most of supergroups as an example.

As I wrote my Tom Petty tribute blog in which I mentioned briefly the Traveling Wilburys, I felt compelled to add more gumbo on this interesting quirky supergroup.

In journeying through my Life, I found that the quirkiest are the best, most amusing and most enduring whether it be art, photography, streets, sights, sounds, fashion, humour and the most coveted, FRIENDSHIP.

The Traveling Wilburys was a fun project originated by George Harrison and Jeff Lynne (ELO). Jeff was the producer for George Harrison’s best selling “Cloud Nine” album in 1987. They were recording “Handle With Care” song which proved to be so fun, they decided to do an entire album, with the record label’s ble$$ing.

The term “Wilbury” originated from a studio remark George made to Jeff, “We’ll bury‘ em in the mix as a way to correct minor recording errors. George first suggested the “Trembling Wilburys” as the band’s name, but at Jeff’s suggestion, they amended it to the “Traveling Wilburys“.

The fun-loving Traveling Wilburys, with fun half-brotherly aliases, comprised of George Harrison (Nelson Wilbury), Bob Dylan (Lucky Wilbury), Roy Orbison (Lefty Wilbury), Jeff Lynne (Otis Wilbury) and Tom Petty (Charlie T. Wilbury Jr.). Hats off to Tom Petty for adding the “Junior” to his pseudonym in recognition of him being in the esteem company of his senior music heroes.

Their first outing was captured in Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1. The spontaneous and fun album proved a critical and commercial success. In 1990, it won the Grammy for Best Performance by a Duo or Group. It produced two successful singles “Handle With Care” and “End Of The Line” as well as achieving triple-platinum certification in sales in the United States.

My differing Traveling Wilburys CD Album box sets (above image) with equally differing prices.

Unfortunately Roy Orbison died of a heart attack in 1988.

Fun and humour continued and the second album was jokingly titled Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3.

The remaining band members adopted fresh new pseudonyms – George Harrison (Spike Wilbury), Bob Dylan (Boo Wilbury), Jeff Lynne (Clayton Wilbury) and Tom Petty (Muddy Wilbury).

Jim Keltner, the legendary session drummer, not an official band member was given the nickname “Buster Sidebury”. Overdubs on the 2007 bonus tracks “Maxie” and “Like A Ship” were credited to “Ayrton Wilbury”, a pseudonym for Dhani Harrison, George’s only son. The name Ayrton ws used in honour of F1 legend Ayrton Senna. George Harrison was known for being a F1 fanatic.

Sadly, George Harrison passed on in 2001 and Tom Petty in 2017.

To me, the crowning jewel of the Traveling Wilburys is that it’s the only supergroup where the Whole is LESS than the Sum of the Parts of the Band Members. The reason was due to the ego-less humility, respect and graciousness of the band members extended towards each other despite their varying mythical mega-stardom.

Sadly, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne are the only surviving Traveling Wilburys members

Whenever I give the Traveling Wilburys albums a listen, I am reminded of Fun, Spontaneous, Gracious and Enduring Friendships.