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The Lonely Blue Dream of Roy Orbison

Barney Hoskyns, MOJO, January 1999

HE STANDS stock-still, or nearly so. His right hand mechanically strums a black Gretsch, and his left leg slightly trembles. He could be a waxwork come weirdly to life. He is dressed head to toe in black, topped off with immovable Ray Bans and a jet-black conk of hair that only make his skin look the more marble-white. Perhaps most extraordinary is the way his magnificent tenor voice comes through thin pursed lips, as though from outside his body. There is no emoting here, just intense concentration on the words he is singing to a stark bolero beat.

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