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Author Topic: 'Buddy' Wilbury  (Read 2486 times)
Juice Brohnston
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« on: March 31, 2017, 10:07:02 AM »

Just some crazy talk, but Jeff Lynne, in the aftermath of producing Harrison's Cloud Nine, and in the months before The Travelling Wilburys came together, spent a bit of time with Brian working on Let it Shine.

So the always popular 'what if' question. As the Wiburys came together in Malibu (where Brian was living at the time) What if Jeff suggested they bring Brian in? Two obvious fans of Brian in Lynne and Petty. The Beatle-Beach Boy connection. Would it have worked? I mean, success of this band was never in question. And it elevated the careers of most of the members. Could it have succeeded where Brian's solo effort fell short? (Exposure, sales) Now I can't really 'feel' Brian in with this crew, but who knows. Even Landy would probably have loosened the reigns somewhat, knowing the payoff.

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 10:26:55 AM »

Just some crazy talk, but Jeff Lynne, in the aftermath of producing Harrison's Cloud Nine, and in the months before The Travelling Wilburys came together, spent a bit of time with Brian working on Let it Shine.

So the always popular 'what if' question. As the Wiburys came together in Malibu (where Brian was living at the time) What if Jeff suggested they bring Brian in? Two obvious fans of Brian in Lynne and Petty. The Beatle-Beach Boy connection. Would it have worked? I mean, success of this band was never in question. And it elevated the careers of most of the members. Could it have succeeded where Brian's solo effort fell short? (Exposure, sales) Now I can't really 'feel' Brian in with this crew, but who knows. Even Landy would probably have loosened the reigns somewhat, knowing the payoff.

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts.

I think it could have worked awesomely in theory (just in terms of music), but I imagine that it would have been nearly impossible for the other industry titans in the band to deal with Landy. That and I also cannot imagine the level of jealousy that would likely have emanated from another particular Beach Boy (the amount of Back to the USSR stories being told by Mike in interviews would probably have quintupled).  

But ultimately, musically speaking, I think that if somehow the BS politics could be kept at bay, it could have worked out.
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the captain
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 10:34:11 AM »

The Landy complications would have been awful, obviously. But just imagine BW arranging harmony and background parts for George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and himself.
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 10:41:06 AM »

The Landy complications would have been awful, obviously. But just imagine BW arranging harmony and background parts for George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and himself.

That would have been SO awesome. I guess another stumbling block would have been if those guys would have had the confidence in Brian that a late '80s Brian was up for the task. If they doubted him (based on what they might have heard through the grapevine about his difficulties in the preceding years), I could see that doubt having a negative effect on Brian's confidence. But if they were supportive, I could see there being some incredible music made.
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2017, 12:00:52 PM »

Tom Petty told a great story about the first meeting in LA, when all the assembled Wilburys were making the final decision to proceed with the first album.

George said, "Well, I'm in as long as this is a band with five guys, instead of the rest of us just backing up one guy... BOB?"  And he looks pointedly at Dylan.

Dylan blinks and says, "Oh, yeah, George, sure, a band.  Absolutely."

Later, Petty pulls Harrison aside and says, "Man, I can't believe you did that.  I could never say that to Bob Dylan."

George grinned and said, "I can.  You can't."
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 01:52:21 PM »

I can't really see it gelling. I could maybe see Brian writing for the group...but at that time in his life, I just don't think the character traits of all these weirdos, the musical abilities at that time, and Brian's baggage of Landy could have possibly worked. I vote Al Jardine for BB representation in the group! "Clean Wilbury"  LOL
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MikestheGreatest!!
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 01:54:56 PM »

My thoughts are why do people keep bringing up these lame hypothetical situations.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 02:15:11 PM »

My thoughts are why do people keep bringing up these lame hypothetical situations.

Because it's fun to discuss alternate realities? Geez, no need to be a Debbie Downer! By that logic, the SMiLE sessions should have stayed unreleased for all time.
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 02:17:32 PM »

The whole deal with the Wilburys was that they got along and had compatible personalities and they all checked their egos at the door. I don't think Brian's ego would ever be a problem, but Brian is like the *polar opposite* of the Wilburys-Monty Python-sardonic-witty sort of vibe. It would have never worked, even with Landy out of the picture.

Brian worked on one song with Jeff Lynne, and while they both apparently run into each other on occasion present-day hanging around LA, and seem to speak fondly of their one collaboration in retrospect (and I think "Let It Shine" is the best song on BW '88), I don't think even just the two of them had a slammin' time working together back in 1988. Lynne was (understandably) weirded out by Landy, Brian seemed to wax and wane on how he felt about Lynne (I think even the promo interview CD for the album mentions that Brian found Lynne a bit strange, with the wearing shades indoors at all times, etc.), and I've heard at least one source (now since proven to be of much more questionable credibility/veracity) claim Brian "hated" the song back when the album came out.

Yet, Brian chose to start doing the song on tour in 2000.

In any event, while Petty and Dylan (and also Lynne, who supposedly was asking all around during the '88 sessions to hear "Smile" stuff) were fans of Brian's work, Harrison barely ever mentioned the BBs or Brian or their music. If we're talking during the Orbison era, Orbison seemed to be a cool guy and maybe would have been extra empathetic and sympathetic to Brian's quirks.

Musically, Brian wasn't at all near what most of the Wilburys stuff sounded like. Brian was doing stacked harmonies and all sorts of synths and DX7s, while the Wilburys was mostly grainy acoustic guitar, dry vocals, super dry "Lynne" trademark drums, and so on. The only person in the band even close to anything like what Brian was doing was, not surprisingly, Lynne. Yes, you can draw a line from "Let It Shine" to "You Got It" and some stuff on "Cloud Nine." But the Wilburys took some of Lynne's sonic touch but then stripped out the lush parts (for the most part; the Orbison track veers of course a little more towards fuller pop).

And even if all five Wilburys had been lifelong huge Brian fans of the highest order, Brian's personality just wouldn't have fit at all. Watch some interviews from 1988 with groups of Wilburys. Nothing like what Brian was doing in 1988 (or ever).
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2017, 02:23:17 PM »

While I don't think any of the BBs were on that Wilburys wavelength, I'd argue even Carl would have at least a slightly better chance of working personality-wise, based on the scant info we actually have about his personality.

I'd say if you could take a 2000s Al Jardine (e.g. a more relaxed, chilled-out version) and put him in the 1988 Wilburys, that might work.

But then again, while the Wilburys thing wasn't about ego, it was about a minimum level of some era of name recognition and stardom. Brian was the only BB that would have fit *that* bill. This was a band where Lynne, leader and creative force behind ELO with 17 Top 40 hits was the "obscure" name in the band. So in that sense Carl or Al wouldn't have worked.
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2017, 10:15:56 PM »

While I don't think any of the BBs were on that Wilburys wavelength, I'd argue even Carl would have at least a slightly better chance of working personality-wise, based on the scant info we actually have about his personality.

I'd say if you could take a 2000s Al Jardine (e.g. a more relaxed, chilled-out version) and put him in the 1988 Wilburys, that might work.

But then again, while the Wilburys thing wasn't about ego, it was about a minimum level of some era of name recognition and stardom. Brian was the only BB that would have fit *that* bill. This was a band where Lynne, leader and creative force behind ELO with 17 Top 40 hits was the "obscure" name in the band. So in that sense Carl or Al wouldn't have worked.
Carl would have been the best fit as a personality. Maybe they should have brought him into the group after Roy died. Carl was friendly with Petty, and I imagine he would have bonded with George - the youngest members of their respective groups, lead guitarists, and so often overshadowed by other band members.
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2017, 03:28:49 AM »

Murry Wilbury  Cool Guy

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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2017, 06:29:05 PM »

Harrison barely ever mentioned the BBs or Brian or their music.

Do you mean that Mike and George weren't best pals? BFFs? They went to India together to see the Maharishi! Celebrated their birthdays together... The Pisces brothers!
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Juice Brohnston
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 10:32:55 AM »

As a bit of a follow up question, could anyone see, in this day and age, a 'Supergroup' collaboration that would include Brian, and generate real buzz? Maybe something with Barry Gibb and a few other big names.
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 11:29:59 AM »

Landy NEVER would have let those interlopers near Brian.  They would have seen through his 'plan' in seconds flat.  He might have thought that he could 'fool' Melinda...but Bob and George?  Not a chance.  The game would have been up in NO time.

As much as I can easily see and HEAR the talents of Carl Wilson...the Wilburys were pretty much 'manned' by icons.  That would have required Brian.  The contributing guy pretty much needed to be a writer...a composer...a person who could take over and offer leadership with their own contributions.  Not sure that Carl could have done that on equal footing with the rest.

Good quote from George.  "I can.  You can't."  THAT was and is Brian's league and stature.  Would have been magic. Cool Guy
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2017, 12:45:43 PM »

Landy NEVER would have let those interlopers near Brian.  They would have seen through his 'plan' in seconds flat.  He might have thought that he could 'fool' Melinda...but Bob and George?  Not a chance.  The game would have been up in NO time.

As much as I can easily see and HEAR the talents of Carl Wilson...the Wilburys were pretty much 'manned' by icons.  That would have required Brian.  The contributing guy pretty much needed to be a writer...a composer...a person who could take over and offer leadership with their own contributions.  Not sure that Carl could have done that on equal footing with the rest.

Good quote from George.  "I can.  You can't."  THAT was and is Brian's league and stature.  Would have been magic. Cool Guy

Lol what a partisan you are.  Both Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan were a part of Brian's 2 albums at the peak of Landytime. 
That is also not at all how they wrote their songs. 
And Carl Wilson >>>>>> Jeff Lynne.  And also at the time marginally more than Tom Petty.  Carl would have been a great fit at that time because Carl loved to rock.  I simply think that at that time Brian wouldn't have enjoyed what they were doing as much as the rest of them did.
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2017, 03:11:08 PM »

Landy NEVER would have let those interlopers near Brian.  They would have seen through his 'plan' in seconds flat.  He might have thought that he could 'fool' Melinda...but Bob and George?  Not a chance.  The game would have been up in NO time.

As much as I can easily see and HEAR the talents of Carl Wilson...the Wilburys were pretty much 'manned' by icons.  That would have required Brian.  The contributing guy pretty much needed to be a writer...a composer...a person who could take over and offer leadership with their own contributions.  Not sure that Carl could have done that on equal footing with the rest.

Good quote from George.  "I can.  You can't."  THAT was and is Brian's league and stature.  Would have been magic. Cool Guy

Lol what a partisan you are.  Both Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan were a part of Brian's 2 albums at the peak of Landytime. 
That is also not at all how they wrote their songs. 
And Carl Wilson >>>>>> Jeff Lynne.  And also at the time marginally more than Tom Petty.  Carl would have been a great fit at that time because Carl loved to rock.  I simply think that at that time Brian wouldn't have enjoyed what they were doing as much as the rest of them did.

Jeff Lynne did ONE song with Brian and later commented he found the Landy thing totally weird.

Didn't Dylan just sing a few lines on one version of "Spirit of Rock and Roll?"

Hardly collaborations of the scope of the Wilburys.

As for Carl, I'm not sure why one has to be compared to the other, but Lynne was and is a much more prolific, fully-formed songwriter than Carl ever was. Lynne single-handedly wrote, produced and sang 17 Top 40 hits, and also of course cowrote a bunch of stuff with Petty and Harrison and Orbison.

Carl was great. But so is Jeff Lynne. Carl was a great vocalist. In just about every other area Lynne was leaps and bounds ahead. Would have been great to hear those two work together. Carl singled out the Lynne track "Let It Shine"when asked about Brian's album in 1989.

Brian was the only BB with the gravitas to be in the Wilburys, but personality and other issues never would have allowed it.
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2017, 04:19:20 PM »

The way the Wilburys formed was mostly by chance. Some of them were already friends. Some of them had worked together before (Harrison and Dylan, Dylan and Petty, Lynne and Orbison)... but they all happened to be in the same place at the same time and available at that particular time. Someone's guitar was at someone else's place and that someone else went along for the ride... And then, they spent a lot of time together writing these songs from scratch. Nobody ever intended to produce TWO albums full of material or to create a supergroup. It just happened because George Harrison united everybody to record "Handle Me With Care" (intended as a B-side to one of his singles) and it was so much fun that they decided to hang out and write and record a few more songs... That's how magic happened.

It just couldn't have happened like that with Brian at that time. Brian wasn't allowed to "hang out". He probably wasn't ready for new friendships. And I can't imagine guys who've been known to not suffer fools easily (Harrison, Dylan, Petty) would've tolerated Landy's presence and involvement. In Peter Bogdanovich's amazing doc "Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers : Runnin' Down a Dream", there's a sequence where Tom Petty chews a new asshole to some corporate guy trying to impose a shitty song on Roger McGuinn. I can tell from that sequence that you don't mess with Petty...

Anyway, the idea of Carl (or Roger McGuinn, or Del Shannon - both rumored to replace Roy Orbison after his passing) being in the Wilburys is a good one. Sadly, it'll forever stay a great "what if" scenario.   
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2017, 11:29:25 PM »


Jeff Lynne did ONE song with Brian and later commented he found the Landy thing totally weird.

Didn't Dylan just sing a few lines on one version of "Spirit of Rock and Roll?"

Hardly collaborations of the scope of the Wilburys.

As for Carl, I'm not sure why one has to be compared to the other, but Lynne was and is a much more prolific, fully-formed songwriter than Carl ever was. Lynne single-handedly wrote, produced and sang 17 Top 40 hits, and also of course cowrote a bunch of stuff with Petty and Harrison and Orbison.

Carl was great. But so is Jeff Lynne. Carl was a great vocalist. In just about every other area Lynne was leaps and bounds ahead. Would have been great to hear those two work together. Carl singled out the Lynne track "Let It Shine"when asked about Brian's album in 1989.

Brian was the only BB with the gravitas to be in the Wilburys, but personality and other issues never would have allowed it.

I am not sure why you are mentioning the "scope" of the collaborations or whatnot.  The previous poster impassionately posted about how Landy would NEVER let them near Brian and they would see through it right away, and I just said that two of them collaborated with him, on 88 and Sweet Insanity.  

And then he went on to mention a mistaken idea of how TW wrote their music and how Carl needed to be in order to function with them, and wasn't enough of an "icon" or whatever.  And then I pointed out how Carl was more of an "icon" or whatever than Lynne and Petty.  And you are talking about songwriting chops?  I don't understand.  
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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2017, 11:56:48 PM »

Petty was a Carl fan, loved his voice and loved the man. I can imagine Harrison and Dylan warming up to him quickly because there was no bs about the man. McGuinn would have been a good fit, too - although i'd need a guide to tell me when it was TP singing, and when it was Roger (or Jim) singing.
Del Shannon killed himself a few months before Wilburys Vol. 3 came out. Don't know if membership into that elite club might have saved his life....it's just an effing drag he checked out that way.
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2017, 06:15:09 AM »

Let's see now.  I believe what I said was that George and Bob would see through Landy.  IF Brian was a member of the Wilburys and they were around to see Landy in action on an ongoing basis it all would have become obvious in no time flat what Landy was doing to Brian.  Melinda saw through it...so would they.  [not for just a 1 day stint in the studio though.]  I have always been a Carl fan.  He's the best in my opinion.  No Carl.  No Beach Boys...after Brian fell from view.  That...because Brian was out of the picture most of the time.  YET...Carl is not an icon at the George Harrison/Bob Dylan upper threshold.  Brian, on the other hand, was and is.

Just because we know that Carl was KEY...doesn't mean the average music fan does.  And, to be fair, writing/composing was not his strong suit.  Brian and Dennis both outshone him in that regard.  Doubtful the average music lover would recognize Carl's name as quickly as they would Roy's or Tom's or Jeff's for that matter.  Be realistic.

-----------------------------------------

p.s. There was a rumour at the time that they were thinking of replacing Roy with Gene Pitney.
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2017, 09:21:50 AM »

A tad off topic, but Carl on Tom's 'Hung Up And Overdue' is a favourite musical moment of mine. 'She's The One, is an underrated album, IMO.
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2017, 11:03:39 AM »


Jeff Lynne did ONE song with Brian and later commented he found the Landy thing totally weird.

Didn't Dylan just sing a few lines on one version of "Spirit of Rock and Roll?"

Hardly collaborations of the scope of the Wilburys.

As for Carl, I'm not sure why one has to be compared to the other, but Lynne was and is a much more prolific, fully-formed songwriter than Carl ever was. Lynne single-handedly wrote, produced and sang 17 Top 40 hits, and also of course cowrote a bunch of stuff with Petty and Harrison and Orbison.

Carl was great. But so is Jeff Lynne. Carl was a great vocalist. In just about every other area Lynne was leaps and bounds ahead. Would have been great to hear those two work together. Carl singled out the Lynne track "Let It Shine"when asked about Brian's album in 1989.

Brian was the only BB with the gravitas to be in the Wilburys, but personality and other issues never would have allowed it.

I am not sure why you are mentioning the "scope" of the collaborations or whatnot.  The previous poster impassionately posted about how Landy would NEVER let them near Brian and they would see through it right away, and I just said that two of them collaborated with him, on 88 and Sweet Insanity.  

And then he went on to mention a mistaken idea of how TW wrote their music and how Carl needed to be in order to function with them, and wasn't enough of an "icon" or whatever.  And then I pointed out how Carl was more of an "icon" or whatever than Lynne and Petty.  And you are talking about songwriting chops?  I don't understand.  

I'm mentioning the scope of their collaborations because the question being discussed is whether Brian would have worked within the Wilburys framework, both in terms of his own personality as well as the Landy factor. I can't say precisely *how* the Landy issue would have negated the possibility of Brian being in the band, but it would have. Whether it would have been some of the other guys (e.g. Harrison) being just weirded out, or Landy not letting Brian near them, I can't say.

The reason the scant amount of time and work Lynne and Dylan actually did with Brian is important is because it's much easier to get in and out getting through ONE song dealing with the Landy apparatus as compared to doing a whole album, especially a collaborative album with a lot of camaraderie, etc. Also, Jeff Lynne being the guy working with Brian is different than, say, Harrison working with him. Dylan's couple of lines of vocals on one "Sweet Insanity" track is hardly evidence that that would have worked for a full album. There are plenty of other people who had sporadic, intermittent dealings with Landy where it worked well enough, but wouldn't have worked for an entire album or series of albums. You could actually put the other Beach Boys themselves in that category. Brian would weave in and out of working with the band while with Landy, but never did a full album project with them other than BB '85, which not only was before Landy's operation was as problematic as it was by 1990, but was also an album where Brian wasn't at the helm.

As for Carl being in the Wilburys, while I don't know if I would use the precise term "icon" (what constitutes an icon?), I'd say both Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty on an individual basis were bigger than Carl was in terms of about anything that can be measured, including name recognition, fame, songwriting productivity, recording productivity, hits, and so on. If pressed to use the term icon, I'd say yes, both Lynne and Petty are more "iconic" than Carl Wilson ever was. While there wasn't an "Icon Test" made up to gain admission to the Wilburys, it was formed and marketed around the concept of a "Supergroup", and in such a group, Lynne, the guy with 17 Top 40 writing credits to his name, was the *least recognizable* member in terms of name and face recognition. When stories are written about the band and sometimes one member's name is left off, it's in variably Lynne. And he was more relevant and productive on the charts in this time frame than Carl was. So I don't think they would have said no to any member because they felt he wasn't "famous" enough, but the icon status and level of fame of members did play a role in how they all fell together. Harrison and Dylan weren't meeting up to go to Beach Boys concerts in 1988 or 1990.

Which gets me back to the likely issue at hand: I think some folks here aren't familiar enough with the *Traveling Wilburys* to understand why the idea of Brian *or* Carl joining the band seems to unlikely. It's really about their relationship and their personalities, and that isn't to cast shade on Carl in any way nor to suggest he didn't have a sense of humor, or wasn't an icon in our eyes because he was an integral member to a huge, important band. Just watch interviews with the Wilburys. Brian *never* would have worked within the framework, and I tend to doubt Carl could have. He was perhaps closest in demeanor to Orbison, but Orbison also had connections with most of the guys in the band and his demeanor perhaps slightly belied having a more similar personality to some of those guys. It was a mutual admiration society, and the only person out of the other Wilburys who I've ever heard talk specifically about Carl is Petty. Petty I would guess probably would have loved to have Carl in the Wilburys. Let's also be clear: I would have loved that musically as well. Especially after Orbison's death, the Wilburys vocally were a bit nasaly and rough, with only Lynne having a slightly "rounder" sort of voice. Carl could have filled that void wonderfully.

Carl would have fit much better in, say, a run of Ringo's "All Starr" band, where it was about bringing hits to the band and musicianship more than anything else. 
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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2017, 11:04:44 AM »

A tad off topic, but Carl on Tom's 'Hung Up And Overdue' is a favourite musical moment of mine. 'She's The One, is an underrated album, IMO.

A great song for both Petty and Carl. *THAT* is the type of stuff Carl *should* have been doing in the 90s instead of "Summer in Paradise" or even the "Beckley Lamm Wilson" stuff.

Would have been awesome for Carl to just break off and do a solo album and have Petty help write some songs and perhaps get Rick Rubin in to produce.
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2017, 10:58:10 PM »

While I don't think any of the BBs were on that Wilburys wavelength, I'd argue even Carl would have at least a slightly better chance of working personality-wise, based on the scant info we actually have about his personality.

I'd say if you could take a 2000s Al Jardine (e.g. a more relaxed, chilled-out version) and put him in the 1988 Wilburys, that might work.

But then again, while the Wilburys thing wasn't about ego, it was about a minimum level of some era of name recognition and stardom. Brian was the only BB that would have fit *that* bill. This was a band where Lynne, leader and creative force behind ELO with 17 Top 40 hits was the "obscure" name in the band. So in that sense Carl or Al wouldn't have worked.
Carl would have been the best fit as a personality. Maybe they should have brought him into the group after Roy died. Carl was friendly with Petty, and I imagine he would have bonded with George - the youngest members of their respective groups, lead guitarists, and so often overshadowed by other band members.
I have thought about that from time to time. I think Carl lending his voice and guitar to the Wiburys would have been great. I guess what we got was Carl's "soft rock super group" with Beckley and Lamm.

Carl is also credited with doing background vocals on Tom Petty's Honey Bee, but I can't hear him on it. Has anyone else been able to distinguish him on that song?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 11:07:19 PM by joe_blow » Logged
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