The birth of the Traveling Wilburys was a happy accident. Warner Bros. Records’ International Department had asked that George Harrison come up with a B-side for “This Is Love,” a single from his Cloud Nine album. At the time it was customary to couple an A-side with a never-before-heard track, giving the single extra sales value.
This was mid-1988. Cloud Nine was just out. George, along with cowriter Jeff Lynne and their friends Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Roy Orbison, had been hanging out in Dylan’s studio. I suppose George figured that as long as his pals were on hand, why not use them to knock off this flipside?