Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Whimsy personified.

The Traveling Wilburys was a fictional band made up of five of the greatest singer songwriters... uh, ever. They came together accidentally to make one song and ended up spending ten days together finishing an album. The new two-CD package includes a DVD talking about recording the first album. There are great anecdotes, like how the classic Dylan tune that's full of words he wrote in one afternoon and nailed on the second take.

Anyway, the whimsy? The name of the band was taken from the phrase, "We'll bury that," meaning they'll fix a goof in editing. The first album is called Volume 1, and the second album, as a joke, is called Volume 3. (In the new three-disc package, the DVD is called "Disc 2.")

The boys are credited with the goofy names Lefty, Otis, Lucky, Nelson, and Charlie T. Jr. On the second album (that's Volume 3, for those of you following along at home), the band members have different goofy names: Spike, Clayton, Boo, and Muddy. The drummer, Jim Keltner, was credited as "Buster Sidebury."

Liner notes from both albums read like Monty Python sketches, talking about a "once great nomadic tribe of wandering musicians." The Wilbury Twist (yes, there's a song about a dance step) is impossible, but what "everybody's trying to do."

Lift your other foot up
And fall on your ass
Get back up
Put your teeth in a glass
Ain't ever been nothin' quite like this
Its a magical thing called the Wilbury Twist
This was five friends (later four, after Roy Orbison passed away), goofing around and having a good time, who just happened to be terrific musicians. The songs also happen to be terrific rock and roll: simple, direct, and above all, fun.

1 comment:

Dave(id) said...

Wore the cassette out years ago, got this one the day it came out. Fresh as the first time I heard it. Some of the greatest voices rock has ever had.