Jeff Lynne, so meticulous in the studio that he’s now painstakingly rerecorded all of the Electric Light Orchestra’s best-known hits, wouldn’t seem to be a great fit with the famously low-fi Bob Dylan.
Yet, the two worked together on not one but two Traveling Wilburys albums, and by all accounts got along famously.
Lynne, appearing on the Adam Carolla internet radio program, discussed the intricacies for making the relationship work.
“It worked great, up to a point — it worked fantastically well,” Lynne says, “because I admire that style. You just do something, and that’s it. It was one take. And that’s what I wanted to put out, and that’s what it is. I don’t want to change it.”
Of course, sooner or later, these two very different personalities were bound to clash, even within the easy-going, first-take atmosphere of the Traveling Wilburys — which also included Tom Petty and the late George Harrison and Roy Orbison. That’s when Harrison stepped in, not so helpfully.
“There was this funny little kerfuffle in the studio,” Lynne tells Carolla. “We were in this house on the hill recording, and so Bob has just done this one line, and me and Tom looked at each other and thought: ‘Hmm. That could be better.’ And George said to Bob, through the talk back: ‘I thought it was great, Bob, but Jeff and Tom hated it.’ (Laughs.) Thanks a lot, George! Charming! That was funny. We all laughed about it in the end, obviously.”