George Harrison said the traveling Wilburys would not have arrived if they had planned it
In 1988 George Harrison accidentally formed The Traveling Wilburys. Somehow he got four of the best singer-songwriters, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne, into the recording studio. George and Lynne were there to record a new song. All five ended up recording “Handle With Care”.
It was something spontaneous. Shortly after, George officially formed The Traveling Wilburys, and they went on to record two albums. The ex-Beatle claimed the supergroup wouldn’t have happened if he had planned it.
George Harrison formed The Traveling Wilburys by accident
In 1988, shortly after the release of his 1987 album Cloud, George was in a bit of a pickle. He told Count Down in 1990 that his record label’s international side wanted an extra song for a 12-inch single.
So he had to record a new song quickly. That night he told the story to Lynne and Orbison. George asked Lynne for help, but Lynne didn’t know where to find a studio and an engineer so quickly. Orbison told the guys to call him when they found a recording studio. He wanted to watch them.
Then George remembered that Dylan had a studio in his garage and called him to see if they could use it. Dylan accepted. George then went to Petty’s to retrieve his guitar. Petty wanted to join the group after hearing what was going on.
They all arrived at Dylan’s garage, and George and Lynne started writing the song. George started thinking it was silly to have all the guys there but not on the record. It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment to have all five of them in one studio. So they all joined.
Looking around Dylan’s garage, George saw a box that said, “Handle With Care.” Thus, they formed the lyrics around this phrase. When they finished recording, George knew that “Handle With Care” was too good for a European 12 inch. He kept it until he decided to get everyone to record an entire album.
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George Harrison said the Traveling Wilburys wouldn’t have formed if they had planned it
In a video about the making of The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, George explained that The Traveling Wilburys wouldn’t have worked if they had all planned it. It happened by fate.
George explained: “The thing about the Wilburys for me is that if we had tried to plan this, or if someone had tried to say, ‘Let’s form this group and get these people in’, it would never happen. . It’s impossible.
“The thing happened completely by magic, just by circumstance. Maybe there was a full moon that night or something. It was a pretty magical little thing, really.
Somehow, all five musicians were available. Lynne was available. Petty was home at the particular time George came to pick up his guitar. Orbison was on stand-by, idling without any plans. And Dylan, who George said was often hard to reach on the phone, picked up instantly when George called to see if they could use his recording studio.
By the time the Traveling Wilburys accidentally first met, George had already read I Chingthe chinese classic book of mutations. He knew the Eastern philosophy that everything is relative to everything else. There are no coincidences. The Traveling Wilburys are a perfect example.
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The supergroup only planned for when they would reunite and record an album
When George asked the four legends if they would be willing to record an entire album, everyone said yes. George explained that they hadn’t planned much else.
The only thing George and the others had planned before recording The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 was when they wanted to record. They allocated nine days to work on the album before Dylan went on tour.
“All we had planned were the weeks when we were all available to get together,” George explained. “But other than that, there was no other plan. We set up a room where we were going to be, then we walked in and started writing songs.
Petty said the whole experience was one of the best days of her life. He explained why everything went so well. “The thing I guess people would have the hardest time understanding is how good friends we were,” he said. “It really had nothing to do with the combination of a group of famous people.
“It was a group of friends who happened to be really good at making music. None of this would have happened without him. It was George’s band. It was always George’s band. And that It was a dream he had had for a long time.
George added: “From my point of view, I just tried to preserve our relationship. I worked so hard to make sure that all the guys who were in this band and therefore on record and film, their friendship was not abused.
George took his friendships very seriously, so getting everyone together was a dream come true for him. Petty said George considered himself a Wilbury for the rest of his life.
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