Roy Orbison sings “Help” in a tribute to John Lennon

December 8th is a time to remember the genius of John Lennon. Sadly, on this day in 1980, he was gunned down outside his home in New York.

Orbison and Lennon first met in 1963 and quickly became friends. When he was asked to do a tribute to John, Roy chose his favorite Lennon song “Help”, which Roy thought was John Lennon’s masterpiece.

Interestingly, “Help” is one of two songs by The Beatles that George Martin suggested that they speed up. “Please Please Me” and “Help” were originally slow ballads when Lennon brought them into the studio.

Yoko Ono told Barbara Orbison that it was her favorite cover version of a John Lennon song. George Martin confirmed that Roy’s slow version was very similar to John’s original version.

This short segment of the Lennon composition is all that was recorded of Roy Orbison singing the classic Beatles song.

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