Nothing In The Way

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He has redeemed my soul from going to the pit, and my life shall see the light. ~ Job 33:28

I’ve wandered around with nothing more than time on my hands
I was lost in the night with no sight of you
And at times it was so blue and lonely
Heading for the light

As Joe Walsh said on the recent History Of The Eagles documentary, “As you live your life, it appears to be anarchy and chaos, and random events, non-related events, smashing into each other and causing this situation or that situation, and then, this happens, and it’s overwhelming, and it just looks like what in the world is going on. And later, when you look back at it, it looks like a finely crafted novel.”

And so it goes for most of us. We know we are always and forever searching; for what only heaven knows. And we don’t really know where we are heading. Or what we are going to be. But He does.

Been close to the edge, hanging by my fingernails
I’ve rolled and I’ve tumbled through the roses and the thorns
And I couldn’t see the sign that warned me, I’m
Heading for the light

And sometimes it surely does feel as if we are just barely hanging on. Perilously close to the abyss and the jagged, rocky bottom below. Straining so hard to keep from tumbling down, the sweat and blood can pour down into our eyes and obscure our vision. It’s so easy to lose your way in this world.

The only thing any of us can do is to “keep on keeping on”, as my old Pop used to say. Just keep on heading for the light.

Ooh – I didn’t see that big black cloud hanging over me
And when the rain came down I was nearly drowned
I didn’t know the mess I was in
My shoes are wearing out from walking down this same highway

I’m pretty sure that George Harrison didn’t really have a plan to put this stalwart group of seasoned pickers together into an actual band, but somewhere along the way the light came on. I know it did for me the first time I dropped the needle on The Traveling Wilbury’s debut album.

And just like the perfect hindsight Joe Walsh spoke of, at the end, it really did look – and sound – like a finely crafted novel.

I don’t see nothing new but I feel a lot of change
And I get the strangest feeling, as I’m
Heading for the light

Traveling-Wilburys-the-traveling-wilburys-5570335-640-425

As most everyone knows by now, The Traveling Wilbury’s (Tom Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne) really came together almost purely by happenstance.

In 1987, George Harrison had pulled together a group of his “mates” (Orbison, Dylan and Lynne) to record a song to be used as the “B” side for the single “This Is Love” off his latest album, Cloud Nine. When the song they recorded, “Handle With Care”, was first submitted to Warner Brothers execs Mo Ostin and Lenny Waronker, both immediately knew it was far too good a song to be used as a throwaway “B” side. They urged George to run with it as the lead for a new album project. The rest, as they say, is – solid gold – history.

Ooh – my hands were tired
Jokers and fools on either side
But still I kept on till the worst had gone
Now I see the hole I was in
My shoes are wearing out from walking down this same highway

A few interesting tidbits about the Wilbury’s:

  • Tom Petty got involved purely by chance: George had left a guitar he needed for the recording session at Tom’s house and when he went to retrieve it, Petty decided to tag along to the session with him.
  • The name “Traveling Wilburys” came from a reference to some of Jeff and George’s recording errors while working on Cloud Nine. They said they would fix them by burying them in the final mixing. Thus “we’ll bury” them became “Wilbury”. George initially added “Trembling” to the name, but Jeff suggested “Traveling” instead and everyone liked that better.
  • They recorded two albums – Traveling Wilbury’s Vol. 1 and Traveling Wibury’s Vol. 3. George named them this way purposely as a sly acknowledgement of a well known bootleg that had been produced in between the two.

I see the sun ahead, I ain’t never looking back
All the dreams are coming true as I think of you
Now there’s nothing in the way to stop me
Heading for the light

Unfortunately, these two albums were all she wrote for the Wilbury’s. Roy Orbison died before the second album was completed in 1988 and George followed soon after in 2001. The band paid tribute to Roy in the video for the song “End Of The Line” by placing his guitar in a rocking chair and showing his photo.

Bob, Jeff and Tom are all still rocking and I have no doubts that both George and Roy definitely found their way at the end…with both of them surely heading for the light.

And the one that started it all:

Sources for this post include:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traveling_Wilburys

Traveling Wilburys website: http://www.travelingwilburys.com/

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