Roy Orbison Tribute Show


In February 1990, a little over a year since he had passed away from a heart attack, a tribute was held for Roy Orbison. While rumours of a live Traveling Wilbury’s appearance turned out to be unfounded, Bob Dylan did appear at the show in (in a white jacket) to join a re-assembled version of The Byrds on two songs, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “He Was a Friend of Mine”.

Rolling Stone has a good short article here on the state of The Byrds at this time, which was a history that I knew nothing about at all. They describe the version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” as the most noteworthy part of the show. Certainly the crowd goes a little crazy when he strolls on out. You can watch that here:

This is another in a seemingly endless series of videos featuring people collaborating with Dylan where they are not all on the same page. It looks to me that they thought he was going to take over singing the song there, but it just didn’t happen – he’s happy to stand with David Crosby and harmonize. Awkward.

I don’t have a video of “He Was a Friend of Mine”. Dylan doesn’t sing on it, just played guitar.

Finally, he appears in the big group sing of “Only the Lonely” that ended the show. This is, as is typical of that kind of thing, a bit of a debacle. Too many cooks… Bjorner lists the singers on this as “Cindy Bullens, Gary Busey, Joe Ely, Chris Frantz, John Fogerty, Larry Gatlin, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Harrison, Levon Helm, John Hiatt, John Lee Hooker, Chris Isaak, Booker T, B. B. King, Al Kooper, Michael McDonald, Slim Jim Phantom, Iggy Pop, BonnieRaitt, Lee Rocker, Brian Setzer, Ricky Skaggs, Harry Dean Stanton, Syd Straw, Don Was, David Was, Tina Weymouth, Dwight Yoakam and others”. Sort of sad that Iggy Pop made it to this show but none of the Wilburys but Dylan….

That whole mess is available here:

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