What happens when you put five good friends in a room together, to write and record album, with a 10-day deadline? It the five happen to be George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty, well then you get some might fine music. In 1988, Harrison was having dinner with Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison when he asked the two to join him in writing a filler song for the B-side of his latest single. They agreed, and thought about recording it that night at a little studio Bob Dylan had - a phone call later (and actually getting Dylan on the first try) they were set. Except for Harrison had left his guitar at Tom Petty's house; so they drop by and invite him along, as well. Five great musicians from three eras of rock, good friends all, record a song on a lark: "Handle with Care".
The record company wisely refused to let "Handle with Care" be hidden on a B-side and encouraged the friends to fill out an album. Dylan was heading out on tour in ten days, so that was their timeline. And what came out was The Traveling Wilburys, Volume 1. In June, a collection of the Wilburys' music was released (having been unavailable since first released): in a month it has sold close to a million copies. And for good reason. The mix of these five is magical - no preening or jocking for position, they shared equally in writing and singing, even auditioning amongst themselves for who would sing what. A little rockabilly, a little classic rock, a lotta good listening.
This video is "End of the Line", from Vol. 1. Sadly, before the video could be shot Roy Orbison died of a heart attack. He carries the chorus in the middle of the song, and is remembered with a picture and a guitar in a rocking chair. This song is their way of saying to let go, don't sweat what you don't have, but be glad in what you do have - it'll carry you through. A pretty good message, actually; contentment.
Tags: Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys, End of the Line, Video, YouTube