Roy Orbison & Friends

Black & White Night 30

The year 1987 saw Roy Orbison in the midst of a triumphant resurgence. His ’60s recording “In Dreams” was featured in the hit film Blue Velvet. He joined Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne in the Traveling Wilburys. And that September, he taped the Cinemax special A Black & White Night at Hollywood’s Coconut Grove, performing a virtual career retrospective.

After its 1988 premiere, it was marketed on videotape, DVD, and CD; for this 30th-anniversary CD/DVD re-release, the Orbison estate (Roy’s Boys), reconfigured the concert, restoring the original song sequence and adding unused footage from the seven camera angles to create a significantly different presentation.

Backing Roy was the core of Elvis Presley’s TCB Band (James Burton on lead guitar) as well as Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, JD Southern, Tom Waits, K.D. Lang, and other luminaries.

Unchanged: the guitar fireworks between Burton (toting his paisley Tele), Springsteen, and Orbison with his black 335 as the show progresses.

The new release includes an shorter, alternative version of “Oh Pretty Woman,” a never-seen five song post-concert set, and raw rehearsal footage and interviews blended into a loose mini-documentary.


This article originally appeared in VG August 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.