Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Roy Orbison's Guitar

Know what I’m talking about?

The Traveling Wilburys were – in my opinion, and that of many critics and fans – the best rock supergroup to ever have existed. Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and Rob Orbison recorded under that name from 1988-1990. Their best-known songs – and justifiably so – were “Handle with Care” and “End of the Line”.

Roy Orbison died at the age of 52 in December, 1988. When the time came to record a video of that song, the Wilburys put Orbison’s rocking guitar in a rocking rocking chair in the part of the song, starting at 1 minute 44 seconds, where Orbison carried the lead. You can also see the rocking guitar at the very end of “End of Line”.

You can read all about that on the Wikipedia entry on The Traveling Wilburys.

You can see the video, and this moving tribute to Orbison, any time you like on YouTube – in your home, office, or, if you have mobile device such an iPhone that connects to YouTube, from any place you like.

Here it is, right here:

That’s what I’m talking about when I say YouTube is increasingly making every part of our popular culture ever recorded in any form available to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.

YouTube, in other words, has robbed death of some of its meaning – at least insofar as it pertains to popular culture. And that’s pretty far, indeed. The end of line for audio-visual popular culture is immortality on YouTube. Roy Orbison and his ever-rocking guitar proves it.
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