ROY ORBISON DOCUMENTARY
MYSTERY GIRL: UNRAVELED
TO SCREEN IN NASHVILLE, LA AND TORONTO IN MAY
A series of intimate screenings of Mystery Girl: Unraveled, a new documentary film that chronicles the recording of Roy Orbison’s hugely successful Mystery Girl album and its resonance, 25 years after its original release, has been set for Nashville, Los Angeles and Toronto next month. The film will be screened at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville on Monday, May 19, the actual release day of Mystery Girl, Mystery Girl Expanded and Mystery Girl – Deluxe releases through Sony’s Legacy imprint. The film will be the centerpiece of a Grammy Museum program in Los Angeles on May 20 and will have a “sneak peek” promotional preview in Toronto on May 12, details of which will be announced soon. Wesley, Alex and Roy Orbison, Jr. will be on hand at the Nashville and Los Angeles screenings for an onstage discussion of the film that they wrote and executive produced. Alex Orbison will be present at the Toronto screening. They are Roy Orbison’s sons and the principals of Roy’s Boys LLC, the company that has spurred renewed interest in the life and work of Roy Orbison in recent months with an ambitious schedule of releases of which Mystery Girl is a key component. It is expected that some of those who participated in the album’s recording and are seen in the film will also be on hand at one or more of these special screenings.
Mystery Girl: Unraveled, directed by Alex Orbison, offers unique insight into the song-by-song creation of Roy Orbison’s Mystery Girl album through rare and intimate archival footage and the memories of those who were there captured in new, never-before-seen interviews. Special appearances and on-screen commentary from Tom Petty, Bono, Jeff Lynne, Steve Cropper, Billy Burnette, Barbara Orbison, Jeff Ayeroff, John Carter Cash, Mike Campbell, Steve Cropper, Richard Dodd, Jim Keltner, David Malloy along with Wesley, Alex and Roy Orbison Jr, plus archival studio footage of Roy Orbison, as lensed, literally, in Mike Campbell’s garage where much of Mystery Girl was recorded, makes this one of the most authentic and compelling music documentaries of our time. Billy Burnette and David Malloy will participate in the discussion following the Nashville screening and it is expected that other notables who are seen in the film will also be on hand at the Grammy Museum program.
Nashville and Los Angeles screenings are open to the public; ticket information:
Monday, 5/19 – Belcourt Theatre, Nashville http://ow.ly/vYtMI
Tuesday, 5/20 – Grammy Museum, Los Angeles http://www.grammymuseum.org/programs
Through a promotion sponsored by the Nashville Scene, Orbison fans will have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win two tickets to the Nashville screening of Mystery Girl: Unraveled. Grand prizewinner will receive a flight for two, hotel accommodations, a dinner, plus two tickets to attend the Belcourt Theatre screening on May 19. Fans will get the chance to enter the contest via Roy Orbison page on Facebook. Additional prizes including CDs and merchandise from the Roy Orbison store will be awarded runners-up.
Roy Orbison would have been 78 years old this Wednesday, April 23 had he not died tragically at the age of 52, a few months before the 1989 release of Mystery Girl at a time when his late career comeback was in full flower. Mystery Girl capped that remarkable comeback that had begun just a few years earlier with the use of the song “In Dreams” in Blue Velvet, the David Lynch-directed surrealist mystery thriller. In 1988, Roy Orbison joined with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne to form The Traveling Wilburys, underscoring his role as one of rock’s keystone musical personalities and, arguably, its greatest vocalist. As seen in Mystery Girl: Unraveled, Petty, Harrison and Lynne all played activist roles in the creation of the Mystery Girl album.
Mystery Girl: Unraveled concludes with new documentary footage illuminating the creation “The Way Is Love” produced by John Carter Cash and engineered by Chuck Turner. Roy Orbison’s vocal “The Way Is Love” vocal was sourced from a newly discovered work tape recorded at the time of the Mystery Girl sessions. That vocal was taken to Johnny Cash’s Cabin studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee in 2013. Realizing a life-long dream to record with their father, Wesley and Roy Jr. played guitars on the song with Alex handling the drums and all three sons bringing background vocals to the mix. “Cutting a track with my brothers was more incredible than I can describe,” said Alex. “I have been looking forward to this for my entire life.” Roy Jr. noted that, “More or less the reason Alex and Wesley and I are musicians was to play in Dad’s band when we got older” and Wesley summed it up nicely, “I think we really got something special.”
Other voices heard (and seen) in Mystery Girl: Unraveled:
Jeff Lynne: “When he sang it, it was absolutely magnificent. His voice, I had never heard a voice like that live, you know, in the studio, ever…. He had this wonderful spirit, almost like a kid in many ways. I love him…. One of the proudest things I’ve ever done is to have become his friend. I’d look at him and just go, ‘Wow, it’s him. The Big O.'”
Tom Petty: “I was just taken by how amazing this guy was. Just sitting, singing softly, sitting on the sofa with an acoustic guitar, his voice was unbelievable. The music will live on, you know; it’s very timeless music.”
Bono: “He was a real innovator, truly a great singer. The real rebels to me always had manners. Elvis, you know, and Roy, Roy was a true gentleman. And that’s a scary thing in a man, do you know what I mean? A man that’s so sure in himself that he can be polite.”
Mike Campbell: “Any time I hear one of Roy’s songs, wherever I am, I just stop and listen to it and he’s there, you know. His artistry and his voice and his spirit and the depth of his soul is so unique and it just connects with you in such a deep way…. He just had a way of getting into your heart.”
Steve Cropper confided that, “I’ve only met basically three, maybe three-and-a-half, of what I call ‘light bulbs’ in my life. And what I mean by ‘light bulbs’ is they’re the brightest one in the room and when they walk in the door every head turns. Every head. Not just a few, not some people still talking in the corner. It’s like everyone stops what they are doing. Elvis Presley, Otis Redding and Roy Orbison. And I saw that happen to Bill Clinton. So, there you go and I’ve never seen that happen to anybody else, ever.”