The Petty Archives

Traveling Wilburys are coming
By Steve Morse
New London Day - September 8, 1988

If you haven't heard about the Traveling Wilburys, you will in the coming weeks. They're a star-laden pickup band featuring Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Tom petty. They've made an album due in mid-October, using such names as Lefty Wilbury (Orbison) and his brothers Otis (Harrison), Lucky (Dylan) and Charlie T. Jr. (Petty).

"I guess you could call it inverted cool," laughs Orbison, chatting on the phone from Los Angeles this week. "We wanted a lighthearted name as opposed to anything serious. We were thinking of the Beatles in 'A Hard Day's Night.' Something along those lines."

The Wilburys arose spontaneously. Orbison was making a solo album with producer Jeff Lynn, who was also finishing a Petty album. Lynn then hit on the idea of calling Harrison in England. Harrison came over and said, "Let's go to Bob's house." Off they went, enlisted Dylan, then all ended up at the home of Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics), writing songs in Stewart's living room.

"We wrote together, though Dylan raced ahead of us. You have to jump to keep up with him because he's so fast. he still has the knack," says Orbison.

"We each have one song we sing mostly solo, then on the other tunes we share verses," adds Orbison. "My wife says it's a man's album. She says it's a bunch of men getting together and talking about women. I guess she's right."

The Traveling Wilburys will also make a film in late September. Meanwhile, Orbison is finishing a solo album, now pushed back to a January release. It won't include a Bruce Springsteen tune as expected.