The Petty Archives

Travelling on with the Wilbury's
By George Olschewski
The Montclarion --December 6, 1990

1988 marked the debut of an unknown band with a strange name -- The Traveling Wilburys. Soon after its release, it started getting rave reviews, and this unknown band was well on its way to stardom.

Well, almost.

The band might have been unknown at the time, but the members weren't. Rock and roll fans immediately recognized the Traveling Wilburys -- Spike Wilbury (George Harrison), Muddy Wilbury (Tom Petty), Clayton Wilbury (Jeff Lynne), Boo Wilbury (Bob Dylan), and Lefty Wilbury (Roy Orbison). These five men took what was originally a fun-time screw-around jam session and turned it into an album, "Traveling Wilburys Vol.1." "It was fun the way everything came together, and it all felt natural," said Spike (Harrison).

Two years later, the Traveling ones gave it another shot. "Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3" was released. Some members of the Wilburys debated whether or not to continue without the voice and guitar of Lefty Wilbury (Orbison), who died earlier this year. The happy, jammin' feeling is still there, but the loss of Orbison shows. The only way to describe the feeling is a group of people who know that a dear friend will never be coming back. The music is still there, the fun is there, but the magic that Orbison put into the band is no longer there.

"The biggest problem we faced as a group was if we were going to replace Lefty," said Muddy (Petty). "Later on, we decided that we wouldn't. We'll travel without him, because there is no way that we could ever replace him."

Wilburys Vol. 3 still has the good ol' boy feeling and the album has some really cool tunes on it. "She's My Baby" is a great opener, and the end track, "Wilbury Twist" is a rocking song that reminds one of the oldies era. It's not as good as Vol. 1, but it is still a nice addition to anyone's record collection.