Heading for the Light (1988) – Traveling Wilburys

The age of the Travelling Wilburys in 1988

Stand up comedian Neal Brennan made the following observation about the Travelling Wilburys here:

Was talking with friend about how impossibly old the Traveling Wilburys seemed when they released their music in 1988.

“I’ve listed their ages at the time. For some perspective, three of them are no longer alive.

Someone responded with a GIF of Spinal Tap at the grave of Elvis Presley:

Too much. There’s too much fucking perspective now.’

Today’s aptly titled song Heading for the Light is a song by the British–American supergroup the Traveling Wilburys from their 1988 album Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1. It was written primarily by George Harrison but credited to all five members of the band. Harrison sings the song with Jeff Lynne, who also co-produced the track and, with Harrison, formulated the idea for starting the Wilburys.

In the interpretation of some Harrison biographers, Heading for the Light reflects his rediscovery of his spiritual purpose and reconnection with his deity. An upbeat rock track, the recording features excellent saxophone solos played by Jim Horn and recalls the sound of Harrison’s 1987 album Cloud Nine.

A lot more information about the Wilburys can be found in the other 4 articles I have written about their songs, but I was interested to read that George Harrison and Jeff Lynne first discussed the idea for the Traveling Wilburys in early 1987 when they were recording Cloud Nine, Harrison’s first album in five years. When Harrison suggested they should form their “dream” band, Lynne chose Roy Orbison as a potential bandmate, while Harrison’s first choice was Bob Dylan.

The Traveling Wilburys recorded the basic track for Heading for the Light between 7 and 16 May 1988 at a makeshift studio in David A. Stewart’s house in Los Angeles. Taped in the kitchen, the basic tracks for all the songs on the album typically featured the five band members on acoustic rhythm guitars accompanied by an Oberheim DMX drum machine.

1. Heading for the Light – wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
4 comments on “Heading for the Light (1988) – Traveling Wilburys
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    What that comdian said is scary lol. My how things have changed now. Dylan is over 80 and still touring. I remember back in 1981 when the Stones were on tour people were making jokes about them being over the hill at 40.
    Love the song…of course.

    • The years have zipped along. The reply to the comedian’s quote using Spinal Tap had me in stitches. I also remember when people mocked the Stones, but their reputation especially as a live band seemed to only get better as they aged.
      This is probably my least preferred song from the Wilburys’ record if that doesn’t tell people how good it is! Cheers Max.

  2. The years do indeed fly by at what feels like an increasingly breakneck pace, and I cannot believe how impossibly old I now am!

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