Story 1987-01-21 New York City, NY

21.01.1987 New York City, NY - Bruce’s induction speech for Roy Orbison:
“In 1970 I rode for 15 hours in the back of a U-Haul truck to open for Roy Orbison at the Nashville Music Fair. It was a summer night and I was 20 years old and he came out in dark glasses, a dark suit and he played some dark music. In ’74, just prior to going in the studio to make “Born to Run,” I was looking at Duane Eddy for his guitar sound and I was listening to a collection of Phil Spector records and I was listening to Roy Orbison’s “All Time Greatest Hits.” I’d lay in bed at night with just the lights of my stereo on and I’d hear “Crying,” “Love Hurts,” “Running Scared,” “Only the Lonely” and “It’s Over” filling my room. Some rock’n’roll reinforces friendship and community but for me Roy’s ballads were always best when you were alone and in the dark. Roy scrapped the idea that you needed verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus to have a hit. His arrangements were complex and operatic, they had rhythm and movement and they addressed the underside of pop romance. They were scary. His voice was unearthly. He had the ability, like all great rock’n’rollers, to sound like he’d dropped in from another planet and yet get the stuff that was right to the heart of what you were living in today and that was how he opened up your vision. He made a little town in New Jersey feel as big as the sound of his records. I always remember laying in bed and right at the end of “It’s Over” when he hits that note where it sounds like the world’s going to end, I’d be laying there promising myself that I was never going to go outside again and never going to talk to another woman. Right about that time my needle would slip back to the first cut and I’d hear: Dadadadaah. “Pretty woman, I don’t believe you, you’re not the truth. No one could look as good as you.” And that was when I understood. I carry his records with me when I go on tour today and I’ll always remember what he means to me and what he meant to me when I was young and free to love. In ’75 when I went into the studio to make “Born to Run,” I wanted to make a record with words like Bob Dylan that sounded like Phil Spector but most of all I wanted to sing like Roy Orbison. Now everybody knows that nobody sings like Roy Orbison.”

Copied from the fanzine Point Blank, issue 10.

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