Sunday, November 22, 2009

Traveling Wilburys . . . out of the closet and I can't stop listening

Traveling Wilburys Just a disclaimer. I didn't take any of these photos :) But probably nobody will mind, since I'm linking everthing to their official site. If you've heard them, you'll probably want to listen again. If you haven't heard them, you're in for a big treat. I was excited today to find a link to super-high-quality videos of End of the Line and Handle With Care. There are more, but these are my two favorites. (There is no arrow, just click on the photo when you get to their site.) If you think you haven't heard of the group, take a look at the faces. It's only a few friends having fun making music: Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and George Harrison.

Traveling Wilburys I remember the day in the late 1980s when I first encountered them. I had no idea, but I couldn't believe what I'd just heard on the radio, and I couldn't believe there was "some group" out there so remarkably gifted and this was only their first record. I called the radio station and dutifully wrote down "T-r-a-v-e-l-i-n-g-W-i-l-b-u-r-y-s." Then I scraped up a few bucks and went to find their music in the store. I had those two cassette tapes for a long time, and when I began replacing tapes with CDs, I was distressed to learn that the group was not on disc. In fact, they'd been out of print for quite some time. But by that time I was getting the idea that sooner or later everything would be available on CD, it might just be a matter of waiting. (There's actually one obscure tape I'm still waiting for, but it wasn't very popular.)

Traveling Wilburys Well, times have changed. Identities have been revealed. I bought the double CD with the DVD and fell in love with the sound all over again. The video was fantastic. I pulled it off the shelf again the other night after watching a horrible DVD of Cream's farewell concert at Albert Hall. I love Cream, I love their sound, but this DVD had not captured the sound I loved, and the visual was old and almost unwatchable. The thing it seems to have captured best was Jack Bruce's bad complexion, and I could have done without that information. So what that has to do with the Wilburys is basically nothing except that I wanted to end the evening on a better note, and I knew this video would do it for me. I could not stop hitting the replay button. Tonight for laughs I looked them up online and found that the videos have been made available online. With a computer, speakers, and a mouse, you don't even have to pay for it. I love this turn of events, but I'm still trying to figure out how one little room could hold so much genius. And the varied talents blend so perfectly. There's a video included that tells the story, and it's delightful and amazing to watch. And . . . they were having fun, which is so gladdening to feel part of, which is what happens to you. It's 100% infectious. And as Sue said, no egos. I guess I've said all I know how to. Just listen. Enjoy.