By Justin Flynn
Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison and Tom Petty were already music royalty before joining together in the 1980s to form the ultimate supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys.
Their debut album ‘Volume 1’ won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance, although the band never performed live.
A who’s who of Aussie rock is re-creating the sounds of The Traveling Wilburys through a series of shows and it’s coming to Geelong.
Nick Barker, Brian Mannix, JR Reyne, Brendan Curry and Taylor Sheridan are taking their show, The End of the Line, to Costa Hall.
“It’s a narrated concert if that makes any sense,” Barker, a veteran singer-songwriter on the Aussie music scene, says.
“We’re not all dressing up as the Traveling Wilburys and each playing a role.
“The way I describe it is you try and let people know at least five more things about The Traveling Wilburys after the concert than they did before it. You just try and cherry pick the really interesting stuff.”
And while none of the members of the Aussie version play a specific WIlbury role, Barker says they tended to gravitate towards their favourite artist anyway.
“I like to think that I’m Tom Petty but I’ve been thinking that for years in my delusional state,” he says.
“I was always a Tom Petty guy. I was never a massive Bob Dylan fan if I’m honest.
“I lobbied hard to get the Tom Petty songs. In a way, unwittingly I am doing the Tom Petty part and I guess Brian unwittingly is trying to do the Bob Dylan stuff.
“It was never by design though. It was just the way things worked out.
“It’s vocal style too. Tom Petty’s voice suits me to a tee, Bob Dylan seems to suit Brian for some bizarre reason and JR’s got a beautiful voice and he tends to take the George Harrison role.
“Anyone who can sing well will do the George Harrison and Jeff Lynne and the hacky rock stuff is me and Brian.”
Barker says there are no egos within their group despite their high standing in the music industry.
“I don’t really have one anymore,” he says.
“The longer you’re in the music industry you need to be humble in order to survive.
“People with big egos don’t seem to last unless of course they are massive artists and then they can live in the bubble but when you’re out just playing pubs for 20 years like I have, your ego is the first thing to go.”
Barker says the audience at The End of the Line can expect some surprises.
“Brian Mannix’s ability to sing like Bob Dylan,” he says.
“What won’t surprise is how funny the guy is. He’s a bit of a jack in the box Brian.
“We’ve got facts we need to stick to and he always goes off script so it’s really funny.
“What surprised me the most was how good the tracks are that you don’t know. We play quite a few of them.
“It didn’t surprise me that much, these people are incredible songwriters, but it just surprised me that I’d never really heard the album tracks before.”
The End of the Line is at Geelong Arts Centre (Costa Hall) on Saturday, July 3 at 8pm. Tickets at geelongartscentre.org.au.