1987-09-30 - COCOANUT GROVE, AMBASSADOR HOTEL, LOS ANGELES, CA
Bruce (and others) join Roy Orbison for the filming of Roy Orbison & Friends: A Black & White Night, shot in beautiful black and white and broadcast on Cinemax in January 1988. The film is shot in the Cocoanut Grove, a nightclub in the now-torn-down Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Bruce plays guitar and shares vocals with Roy on "Dream Baby
(How Long Must I Dream)", and he also plays guitar on the rest of the songs (sitting on a chair behind Roy on the stage). Backing group is the TCB Band (who accompanied Elvis Presley between 1969-77) including James Burton, who exchanges guitar solos with Springsteen during the show-stopping "Oh, Pretty Woman
". This particular performance won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The resulting film is later released on Roy Orbison & Friends, A Black & White Night (abbreviated to Black & White Night for the HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases) on multiple formats, including VHS, LaserDisc, DVD and in high definition on Blu-ray. Subsequently, an audio CD titled A Black & White Night Live is released in 1989. "Blue Angel
" is cut from the television broadcast for time, along with "Claudette
" and "Blue Bayou
". However, the song is included as a bonus track on the HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the concert Black & White Night 30 will be released on February 24, 2017 on CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray. The film has been completely re-edited and the concert restored to the correct order, which is represented in the setlist under. The set also includes a five-song "secret concert" performed by the full band after the show had ended, with no audience. Shooting only stopped after film ran out during "Claudette". Rehearsal footage and pre- and post-show interviews are also included. The crowd was mostly made up of music industry insiders. Billy Idol, Steve Jones, Patrick Swayze, Sandra Bernhard, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Dean Stanton, and Syd Straw were among the celebrities spotted in the audience. As the Los Angeles Daily News reported, hundreds of people, ranging from nightclub bookers and industry heavyweights to upcoming musicians, stood at the nightclub entrance an hour before the show waiting to get in.
Roy Orbison – guitar, lead vocals
Alex Acuna – percussion
T Bone Burnett – guitar
James Burton – guitar
Elvis Costello – guitar, organ, harmonica, vocals
Glen D. Hardin – piano
Jerry Scheff – bass
Bruce Springsteen – guitar, vocals
Ron Tutt – drums
Mike Utley – Keyboards
Tom Waits – guitar, organ
Jackson Browne – male backup singer
k.d. lang – female backup singer
Bonnie Raitt – female backup singer
Steven Soles – male backup singer
J.D. Souther – male backup singer, guitar
Jennifer Warnes – female backup singer
Pavel Farkas – violin
Peter Hatch – viola
Ezra Kliger – violin
Sid Page – concert master
Jimbo Ross – viola
Bruce on the artist
"Then into my thirteen–year–old ears came 60's pop. Roy Orbison, besides Johnny Cash, he was the other Man in Black. He was the true master of the romantic apocalypse you dreaded, and knew was coming after the first night you whispered, I love you, to your new girlfriend. You were going down. Roy was the coolest, uncool loser you'd ever seen. With his Coke bottle black glasses, his three–octave range, he seemed to take joy sticking his knife deep into the hot belly of your teenage insecurities. Simply the titles, "Crying," "It's Over," "Running Scared." That's right, the paranoia, oh, the paranoia. He sang about the tragic unknowability of women. He was tortured by soft skin, angora sweaters, beauty, and death – just like you. But he also sang that he'd been risen to the heights of near unexpressable bliss by these same very things that tortured him. Oh, cruel irony.
And for those few moments, he told you that the wreckage, and the ruin, and the heartbreak was all worth it. I got it, my young songwriters, wisdom said to me: Life is tragedy, broken by moments of unworldly bliss that make that tragedy bearable. I was half right. That wasn't life, that was pop music. "
"I remember when I was a kid, his music took me out of my little town, you know. And... you don't always get a chance to sing harmony with Roy Orbison and play guitar next to James Burton, that's a dream."
"In 1970, I rode for fifteen 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 Orbison came out in dark glasses, a dark suit and he played some dark music. In 1974, just prior to going into the studio to record my album Born To Run, I was looking at Duane Eddy for his guitar sound and I was listening to a collection of Phil Spector's records and 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 and 'It's Over' filling my room. Orbison's voice was unearthly. He had the ability, like all great Rock and Rollers, to sound like he dropped in from another planet and yet get the stuff that was right to the heart of what you were livin' in today, and it was how he opened up your vision. 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 afraid to love. In 1975, when I went into the studio to record, Born To Run, I wanted to make a record with words like Bob Dylan, that sounded like Phil Spector's productions, but most of all I wanted to sing like Roy Orbison. Now, everybody knows that nobody sings like Roy Orbison."