Rock’s Forgotten Supergroup! Beatles! Bob Dylan! ELO! Tom Petty! Secrets Of “The Traveling Wilburys”!

The Traveling Wilburys George Harrison Bob Dylan Tom Petty Jeff Lynne Roy Orbison

What A Supergroup! George Harrison! Bob Dylan! Tom Petty! Roy Orbison! Jeff Lynne!

Time to remember the greatness of The Traveling Wilburys! This strangely forgotten footnote in music was actually a terrific celebration of music, a band consisting of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty!


Behold The Majesty Of The Wilburys!

Let’s get right to it: this group got together for a brief time in the early 90’s and released some really great music!

Here is the catchy “Handle With Care”, which could have come off of Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” CD..and featuring the legendary Roy Orbison!

Traveling Wilbury logo

The Origin Of The Wilburys!

SO here is the story of how this incredible lineup of musicians got together!

In February 1988, George Harrison was promoting his solo album “Cloud Nine” – and was asked what was next…well, Jeff Lynne had just produced the record, so Harrison said cheekily:

George Harrison Cloud Nine

“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.”

And what a group it was!


The “Secret” Story Of The Traveling Wilburys!

So who are these “Wilburys” anyway? Well, according to wikipedia, “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”.

best rock supergroups

“We’ll Bury ’em” Indeed!

From then on, they used the term for any mistakes during the recording, and the band was born!


As you saw from that first video, this was a group that just loved playing music tougher, so they originally got together to record a “b-side” for one of Harrison’s singles.

best traveling wilburys music

The resulting song, “Handle With Care”, was so good they decided to do an entire album!

Here is the terrific “End Of The Line” video, also from the first album:


Roy Orbison died shortly after the album was done, so that video pays tribute to him…and the remaining members recorded a followup album, called – with that same wicked sense of humor – “Vol. 3”!

wilburys vol. 3

The “Wilbury Twist” with John Candy!

While the death of Orbison was certainly sad, the group released another terrific collection of music, including the “Wilbury Twist” starring John Candy!

best rock supergroups

Once again, the pure joy these guys had making music was refreshing, and the songs were catchy and fun, including the funky rocker “She’s My Baby”:

best rock supergroups

The Wilburys only released two albums, but of course Jeff Lynne has kept making music, including releasing a new Electric Light Orchestra CD!

Jeff Lynne's ELO

If you love ELO like I do, click below to see their new music video!

And of course, George Harrison was part of the greatest musical group of all time:

Beatles abbey-road

Now you can relive some amazing Beatles music videos, a collection of promo films the band recorded in the 60’s:

beatles-1-music video

Read all about them here:

And let me know if you love these Wilburys as much as I do!

best rock supergroups

Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Art, Books / Media, British Cinema, Classic Rock, Cult Movies, documentary films, London, Memoirs, Music, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, The Beatles, TV Show, Uncategorized

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28 replies

  1. Some great tracks such a shame about George and Roy they all just gelled you can feel the camaraderie and friendship which is what made the Wilburys such a great band…Thank you, John, for reviving a long-forgotten memory…:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great! When the album first came out I loved it right off, but didn’t buy it or play any of th songs with my band. After the passing of George, and then Roy, the true power and beauty of the songs became clear to me, and as time went by I did play a couple of their songs from time to time with various ensembles, and really enjoyed it. Now for shure I’m goin out an get a fresh CD and learn some of these songs! Thanks for sharing this! I’m gonna re-share it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve read several different versions of how the Wilbury’s came to be, my favourite part of any of them was Tom Petty saying he rang Roy Orbison and asked if he would join and Roy said yes – Tom put the phone down, turned to the others and, like an excited kid, said “I’m in a band with Roy Orbison!”. True? Dunno, but that’s how id’a felt about any of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That SHOULD be how it was – I know they were all excited to play with Orbison, and I think it was also a huge financial boost to the icon – obviously the others were extremely wealthy at the time…thanks for sharing!


  4. During the Wilbury era, Jeff Lynne produced and wrote for and performed on at least three Tom Petty CD’s. I had to search for them and they’re Petty’s best work. I’ve heard that the Beatles agreed that Jeff had the greatest potential to build on their legacy. They were right!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Supergroup indeed..Great music, todays generation needs to listen and hear what real music is..,Roy and George you are missed..My question is did “The Traveling Wilburys” ever tour? I for some reason seem to remember they may have..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I seem to be the only person remembering Jim Keltner, Wilburys drummer! He’s terrific 🙂


  7. I seem to recall George saying ” we had the best singer ( Roy Orbison) the best writer ( Bob Dylan) what could be better than that ?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Forgotten? Not a chance – the last of the supergroups – who’d want to listen to anything else? Nothing’s come after these guys since.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this talented group, especially Jeff Lynne & George Harrisson!
    They always seemed to enjoy singing together & each other’s company.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post! I loved their sound – and I remember watching the videos thinking it would have been awesome to hang out with those guys. Their videos had that the “Daryl’s House” feel – dudes hanging making music.

    Liked by 1 person


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