Traveling Wilburys Casting Call?
The infamous group photograph was taken backstage at The Palace in Hollywood in February 1987. Dave Edmunds performed that evening and was joined for the encores by former Stray Cat Brian Setzer. From my vantage point during the encores, I noticed George and Jeff in the balcony to stage left. I pointed them out to my partner in crime for that evening, J.Kordosh, (The very handsome CREEM editor, who I dragged along to the show. This being the first weekend after his relocation to Hollywood, from the Motor City). After the show, the record company was having a meet-and-greet in the theater’s restaurant. But upstairs in the dressing room was the real meet-and-greet, in Dave’s dressing room. I had done album covers for both the Stray Cats and Dave Edmunds at the height of their careers, so we were already great friends. Bob Dylan, I had meet and worked with the year before at Farm Aid Concert and the tour that followed with Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. I had also met Jeff Lynne when he was with ELO while working for CREEM in Detroit. This would be my first encounter with George Harrison, but not my last.
It was a natural for all these guys to show up together. Dave had produced most of The Stray Cats albums, as well as George’s version of Bob’s song, "I Don’t Want To Do It" for the Porky’s Revenge Soundtrack. Jeff had worked with Dave producing a number of tracks for him including his hit "Slipping Away". George and Jeff had been working with Duane Eddy for his upcoming album. George had also recorded recently with Bob.
Dave had to run off to the record company get together, and left us to our own devices. That would be Cuervo and Coronas! I assimilated in my usual fashion, buying a couple rounds of drinks, while waiting for Dave’s return and my opportunity for a photo. Everyone was ordering Coronas and I asked for a couple of shots for the Cats, Jeff and myself, George overheard and ordered in as well, claiming that he hadn’t had tequila before!? This being Dave’s show, he was the man they all had come to see, so we waited. I took a few photos of George and Jeff, had a couple laughs and discussed the new album they were working on together.
I asked George about doing an interview for the magazine when the album came out, and he replied "I suppose we should," and I gave him my number. Mr. Kordosh on the other hand was off in a corner some
where, discussing "Blonde on Blonde" with Dylan. Later that evening I convinced J. that Self Portrait was indeed Bob’s best work, but I digress.
Dave had returned, and I again imposed on George by asking for assistance with setting up a group photo. "Don’t you think this would make a great band with all these guitar players?" I coerced. George leaned on my shoulder and organized the photo by placing everyone in position before backing into the pose himself, he laughed "You’re right this would make a lovely band, not a bad idea, with all these guys". A few photos went by and I began to wonder who the bearded gentleman between George and Bob may be. For just a moment, I considered asking him to move out of the photo. These all being famous guitar players. Well, he must be someone since George wanted to stand next to him, I thought. When I noticed that Slim Jim had snuck into the photo next to Dave, I gave up the notion. I found out shortly after that it was Duane Eddy, the legendary guitar player who influenced most of these guys to begin with. That was it, more tequila please!
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