You may be aware about my obsession with Jeff Lynne. Not least after this wonderful memory and this somewhat tragic post. Not to mention my obsession with Tom Petty who I talked about in this post. And of course George Harrison who I sang a little tribute to here and who once played in the same band as this guy. But now it’s time to celebrate the hero of all these guys, their fellow Traveling Wilbury – Roy Orbison! He would have turned 80 years old today had he been alive! Congratulations Roy!!! On the same day as Shakespeare died by the way (but 400 years ago) but that’s another story. Anyway, I picked up my new Guild 12-string guitar and bursted out a version of “You Got It”. Enjoy!
Little did I know that only three years later Tom Petty would team up with ex-Beatle George Harrison who had just made a comeback with the brilliant Cloud Nine album, and that album’s producer ex-E.L.O. genius Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison in the supergroup Traveling Wilburys. And soon after came one of my all time favorite albums – Petty’s masterpiece Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and realized he’s the coolest artist on earth, writing nothing but brilliant songs and with a taste for Beatles, Byrds, Dylan, American roots rock, British new wave á la Costello, Rickenbacker guitars, well… I could make the list longer. (No wonder another pop fanatic like Sweden’s Per Gessle of Roxette always was a big fan!) Another few years later came the album “Wildflowers” and I realized Petty is like vintage vine. Just gets better with age. (At least up ’til that point.)
I saw him live in Stockholm in ’93, and I saw him at Hollywood Bowl, L.A. (where I amazingly have played myself two times), in 2006 (with my hero Jeff Lynne as a guest!), and now it’s time again to welcome him to Europe after twenty years!
So while waiting for my solo album Soundshine due for release in Europe on Lojinx this spring I thought this was enough reason to have a go at one of my favorite Petty songs – “Wildflowers”. Just like I did with ABBA’s “Happy New Year” a couple of weeks ago I decided to keep it simple; one voice – one guitar. As I said then I’m often tempted to add layers of vocals and lots of overdubs. It’s like Jeff Lynne said in this interview “I used to think that more is more, I just loved to overdub.”.
I didn’t intend to make the song “my own” by changing it around too much which is normally recommended when making cover versions but I just think it’s perfect as it is. Sorry for that!