Roy Orbison Lives On
by Buck Quigley - posted 11:32 am, September 26, 2008
Well, here’s something for a Friday. I got a postcard here at the office from the Roy Orbison International Fan Club, advertising a new Web site: RoyOrbison.com. It’s not fully functional yet, but it’s still mighty cool. By October you’ll be able to access 24/7 online radio an television stations dedicated to the guy Elvis Presley called “the greatest singer in the world.”
Twenty years ago, in 1988, the year Orbison suffered a fatal heart attack, I had the honor of meeting him. The photo above is of Yod Crewsy, Casino El Camino, Roy, me, and Blue Aggie, backstage at Kleinhans Music Hall. We were called the Jacklords, and we opened up to a sold-out house that night. Roy had a cold, and he took a short break to sip hot water with honey and lemon. That’s all he needed to shake the rafters with his effortless high notes. In the dressing room, he was extremely polite, encouraging, and kind to a fairly awe-struck garage band. He autographed my guitar, which was later stolen.
Orbison’s music was unique. Without peer as a balladeer, he could also rock like a madman. But his greatest gift may have been his otherworldly voice, and his tremendous skill at composing perfect little arias that celebrate the triumphs and mourn the tragedies of the human heart. He lived a heroic show-biz life, and this slick Web site is a good place to visit if you’re already a fan. And if, for whatever reason, you’ve never gotten into his stuff, it can’t hurt to click around and learn about the guy. You’re really just cheating yourself if you don’t add his music to your life.