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Posts Tagged ‘Traveling Wilburys’

RIP, Tom Petty (October 2, 2017) American Rock Great

Posted by themusicsover on October 2, 2017

Tom Petty
October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Tom Petty, the iconic American singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer passed away peacefully following a massive heart attack he had suffered earlier in the day.  He was 66.  Born in Gainesville, Florida, Petty, like many kids his age, had their first rock and roll moment after witnessing Elvis Presley. But unlike other future rock stars, it wasn’t The King’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show that changed his life forever – it was a more personal encounter.  Turns out Petty’s uncle was working on the Presley film, Follow That Dream that was filming nearby, and he invited the 10-year-old down to the shoot. Petty was able to watch Presley up close and in person doing what he did best, albeit in an entirely different arena. He soon traded his slingshot to a buddy for some Elvis 45s, and he was on his way.  Petty’s first band of note – that would reform for kicks in 2007 – was Mudcrutch, which he put together in 1970. Six years later, they morphed into Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. During the next several years, they released a series of hit singles and albums that appealed equally to the fans of the current “heartland rock” movement led by Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen, and the punk and new wave movements which were grabbing hold on the east and west coasts, as well as in the UK.  Over the next four decades, Petty, both with the Heartbreakers and solo, sold upwards of 80 million albums, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.  Throughout his career, Petty collaborated with many of the biggest names in music, perhaps most famously, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and George Harrison as the Traveling Wilburys.  This “supergroup” recorded two well-received albums together, 1988’s Vol. 1 and 1990’s Vol. 3.  Others of note with whom Petty had memorable collaborations with were Stevie Nicks, Johnny Cash, Dwight Twilley, and Del Shannon, whose career he revived in 1982 with the album, Drop Down and Get Me.  In 2002, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while November, 2015 saw the much-lauded release of the best-seller, Petty: The Biography, by Warren Zanes.  Around that time he partnered with SiriusXM on Tom Petty Radio, a channel devoted entirely to his music and the music he loved. By all accounts, he was very hands-on with it, making sure the content would be loved by his fans. On Monday, September 25th, 2017, the band played their last of three spirited shows at the Hollywood Bowl in their adopted hometown of Los Angeles, to cap off the hugely successful 40th Anniversary Tour – their longest in 15 years. One week later, Top Petty was gone.

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Died On This Date (February 8, 1990) Del Shannon / Early ’60s Rock ‘n Roll Star

Posted by themusicsover on February 8, 2010

Del Shannon (Born Charles Westover)
December 30, 1934 – February 8, 1990

With Tom Petty

Del Shannon was a country leaning rock ‘n roll star of the early ’60s.  His hits included “Hats Off to Larry,” “Little Town Flirt,” and 1961’s “Runaway,” which became a #1 single.  Shannon continued to release moderate hits until he turned to producing during the mid ’60s.  In a 1968 comeback attempt, Shannon released an album more fitting of the time, the psychedelic leaning The Further Adventures of Charles Westover.   Although it was considered his masterpiece by many critics and core fans alike, it failed to produce any hit singles and struggled with sales.  Shannon all but vanished from the music business during the ’70s, only to resurface in 1981 thanks to the help of fan, Tom Petty who produced and lent his Heartbreakers to his Drop Down and Get Me.  The album was a welcome return, and Shannon continued to release albums throughout much of the ’80s.  Around that time, his “Runaway” found a new audience by way of the NBC television drama, Crime Story, for which it became the theme song.  As the ’90s dawned, there was talk that Shannon was to replace the recently deceased Roy Orbison in the Traveling Wilburys.  Sadly however, Shannon, who reportedly struggled with depression, fatally shot himself at his Canyon Country, California home on February 8, 1990.  He was 55.

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Drop Down and Get Me - Del Shannon

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Died On This Date (December 6, 1988) Roy Orbison / Rock ‘n Roll Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on December 6, 2009

Roy Orbison
April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988


Roy Orbison was one of rock ‘n roll’s true pioneers.  With his uniquely beautiful and almost operatic voice, dark and sometimes melodramatic songs, and a sound that was equal parts country and rockabilly, Orbison would directly inspire such future greats as Bruce Springsteen, Bono, John Lennon and Tom Petty.  When describing his voice, Barry Gibb once called it “the voice of God.” Orbison began learning to play the guitar his father gave him on his 6th birthday.  As he grew older, he found his biggest inspiration in the music of Jimmie Rodgers, Lefty Frizzell, and Hank Williams.  In 1956, he was offered a contract by Sun Records who released his first single, “Ooby Dooby” which sold a respectble 200,000 copies.  Over the course of the next several years, he recorded no less than 20 top 40 singles, including “Only The Lonely,” “In Dreams,” “Crying,” and of course, “Oh, Pretty Woman.”  When the British Invasion hit American soil during the early ’60s, Orbison, like many of rock’s first generation, were ironically pushed aside for the bands who found great inspiration in them.  The ’70s found Orbison’s music embraced by some of the era’s most popular musicians.  Artists like Springsteen, Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons and Nazereth were covering his songs either on record or in concert.  In 1987, Orbison experienced a career revival thanks to a televised tribute and live album that found him sharing the stage with Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Jeff Lynne, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt.  A year later, he was back in the studio as part of the Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup that included George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan.  Their first release sold over 3 million copies in the U.S. alone.  During that time working with the Wilburys, Orbison was also busy recording what supposed to be his comeback album, Mystery Girl.  Later that year found him making a handful of promotional dates for the Wilburys, putting the finishing touches on his album, and preparing for what he hoped would be his second shot at stardom.  But on December 6, 1988, Roy Orbison, 52, died of a heart attack at his home.  During the year that followed, Mystery Girl was released and it’s first single, “You Got It,” was a smash hit that cracked the top 10 in the U.S.  The album reached #5 in the U.S. and #2 in the UK, putting him back where he was when he started his career, on top.

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The Essential Roy Orbison - Roy Orbison

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Died On This Date (November 29, 2001) George Harrison / The Beatles

Posted by themusicsover on November 29, 2009

George Harrison
February 24*, 1943 – November 29, 2001

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George Harrison achieved massive fame and success as the lead guitarist for the Beatles.  His post-Beatles career, whether as a solo artist or member of the Traveling Wilburys was just as critically acclaimed.  Born in Liverpool, London, Harrison was still in grade school when he got his first guitar.  Before long, he formed his own skiffle band, the Rebels. Another of his schoolmates, Paul McCartney had a band as well, the Quarrymen, along with John Lennon.  Harrison was just 16 when McCartney heard his guitar playing and asked him to join the band.  The group would soon morph into the Beatles, made up of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe,  and Pete Best, who was later replaced by Ringo Starr. Following the unexpected 1962 death of Sutcliffe, it would be Harrison along with Lennon, McCartney and Starr, who would forever change the landscape of popular music.  Although Lennon and McCartney were the primary songwriters of the group, Harrison contributed such later hits as “Taxman,” “Within You Without You,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”  Following the Beatles’ break-up in 1970, Harrison immediately launched a successful solo career with the release of All Things Must Pass which included his first hit, “My Sweet Lord.”  Over the better part of the next two decades, Harrison released a series of critical and commercial successes which included The Concert For Bangladesh, Living In The Material World, Dark Horse, and Cloud Nine.  In 1988, Harrison formed the popular “supergroup,” the Traveling Wilburys which included Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty.   Harrison also found success in the film industry.  In 1978, he started his own production company, HandMade Films.  Over the next 15 years, his company released such hits as Life of Brian, Shanghai Surprise and Time Bandits.  On December 30, 1999, Harrison was the victim of an attack that was frightening similar to the one that killed John Lennon.  In the early morning hours, Harrison and his wife, Olivia Harrison,  were startled to hear an intruder loudly calling out George’s name from another room in their house.  When he confronted the crazed man, he was stabbed seven times in a struggle that reportedly lasted 15 minutes.  The assailant was subdued with the help of Olivia who hit him numerous times with a fireplace poker.  George suffered a punctured lung and head injuries.  The incident caused him to all but eliminate public appearances from that day forward.  In 1997, Harrison discovered he was suffering from lung cancer.  He was 58 when he died of the cancer on November 29, 2001.

*Despite what is reported elsewhere, George Harrison was actually born just before midnight on February 24, 1943.  The wrong date was mistakenly written on his birth certificate.   It was brought to his attention later in life.

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All Things Must Pass (30th Anniversary Edition) [Remastered] - George Harrison

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