Traveling Wilburys

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Del Shannon: The Sixth Wilbury?

Del ShannonMuch has been written about who would have been a logical choice to replace Roy Orbison after his sudden passing in 1988. Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and Ringo Starr were some of the names floating around, but these were simply rumors. Truth be told, they could never have been a Wilbury as they were simply too commercial. Too mainstream. Too familiar.

To quote Michael Palin, "the original Wilburys were a stationary people who, realizing that their civilization could not stand still forever, began to go for short walks - not the 'traveling' as we now know it, but certainly as far as the corner and back." The Wilburys were always a little off the beaten path, a little out of step compared to the then current music trends. Yet they were never out of style.

Of course the music was great too.

One person who would have fit in perfectly was Del Shannon. At the time of his death on February 8, 1990, Shannon had nearly finished his last studio album, Rock On!, with help from Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and Mike Campbell. While the album wasn't a commercial hit, it nonetheless confirmed Shannon's unique vocal talent and soulful expression of loss and abandonment, not unlike Roy Orbison's. Listening to "Walk Away", "Calling Out My Name", or "When I Had You" shows that he still had the talent, and strangely enough, the anonymity, to fit in perfectly.

The sixth Wilbury? Maybe not. But at least he gets an honorable mention.

Dennis Bacchetta - guest blogger


  • Dear Sally:
    there's long time i've been reading your fantastic traveling wilburys's blog and i find it really amazing.
    I'm a young uruguayan guy who started loving travelling wilburys since i was a child, when i discover my mother's archieve.
    Nowadays, i can't stop listening Roy Orbison records and i find this blog a magical opportunity to be close to this passion that i can't share with others guys of my age, and spacially, in my country.
    I think that's all for today. I promise continue reading you, like ever.
    So sorry for my english level, i know it's not the best.
    Yours faithfully,

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    By Blogger i1vea56oovf, at 10:26 AM  

  • Hola desde MĂ©xico, Comparto el comentario... Del Shannon hubiese sido un perfecto Wilbury... que tal "Del Wilbury"?
    Excuse me, i write in spanish.
    Un saludo de un fan de los Travelin´

    By Blogger eclipsenegro, at 12:32 PM  

  • I thought I had read somewhere that Shannon was asked to replace Orbison for Vol. 3

    By Blogger Iggy, at 2:32 PM  

  • Where can I get Rock On? iTunes? Ebay?

    Jake Commander

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 AM  

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