A few weeks ago, my friend Slant and I were on our way to Baltimore to meet up with our friend Mung for our fabulous weekend in Cleveland. We were listening to both Volume 1 and 3 of the Traveling Wilbury’s. In case you’ve never heard of this band, all I have to do is mention the members and you’ll get an idea of them (or, you could go to Amazon.com and read up on them): Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison … of course, Orbison died after Volume 1 …
For some reason, Slant and I remember that there were some rumors out there that the Wilbury’s were going to replace Orbison for Volume 3, and go on tour … which probably would’ve been one of the coolest things ever to happen … anyway, I’ll present some of these rumored replacements with my opinions – please, add any others you’d like (past, present, or future … or at least newer than the remaining Wilbury’s).
Paul McCartney – Certainly, royalty when it comes to rock and roll, and his voice would’ve replaced Orbison’s heavenly voice admirably. However, McCartney is far too “poppy” for the Wilbury’s, and his guitar work, although pretty good, can’t match up to any of the remaining members.
John Fogerty – The guy is a folk/country icon, and probably would’ve fit in nicely with his writing style and guitar play … not sure how his screaming voice would’ve played into the Wilbury’s, since they already have Petty.
Keith Richards – Without a doubt, his songwriting and guitar work would’ve been a perfect fit … however, the Wilbury’s already had Bob Dylan’s raspy voice, probably didn’t need another one in Richards’.
Eric Clapton – Probably the most sensible choice – the guy is a wizard with the guitar, could add a nice bluesy touch to the country and folk, and certainly his voice, although not as high as Orbison’s, is distinct and classic enough, that he could’ve pulled this off.
Pete Townsend – A gifted songwriter and guitarist, I just don’t know whether Pete could pull off a convincing country/folk sound. I mean, I think the closest the Who ever got to a country sound was Squeeze Box, right?
Roger Waters – He would’ve added an interesting psychedelic touch to the Wilbury’s, but if they really wanted to go that way, they already had Harrison in the band.
Jimmy Page – The guy would’ve been the R&B backbone of this band, and probably would’ve given it some added muscle … however, his voice is less than good, so he probably wouldn’t have fit very well.
Eddie Vedder – He was fresh and new at the time, and as far as song writers go, he would’ve been excellent. His sound was a good match too, but his guitar play isn’t up to standard with these guys.
Neil Young – Another great song writer, with a good folk-hard edged sound, and a really cool guitarist … but he just seemed a little to hyper and unsettled for these guys.
Roger McGuinn – Great guitarist, good lyricist, and certainly a nice folksy background, but he sounds almost exactly like Petty.