SUPER DELUXE EDITION: Alex Orbison on Roy Orbison’s #MGMYears Part 1
December 4, 2015 By Justyn Barnes
With today’s release of the Roy Orbison: The MGM Years 1965-1973 box set, SDE spoke to one of ‘Roy’s boys’, his son Alex Orbison, who spent three years overseeing its production. In the first part of an exclusive two-part feature, Alex talks about the personal and musical discoveries he made along the way – including a ‘lost album’ that is being released alongside the box set – and the long process of making a super deluxe edition…
Alex Orbison enjoyed a very close relationship with his father growing up. Both blue-eyed and far-sighted, they shared a love of making model planes and automobiles and could often be found together piecing together a new creation in Roy’s workshop. Then, of course, there was the music. By the age of three, Alex was strumming a violin – because his hands were too small for the guitar – and he discovered the drums aged eight. Roy let him try to play on his own for a week, before sitting down and teaching him technique (“I never saw him play drums apart from that time,” recalls Alex. “He had this innate sense of how things worked”). Alex and brothers Roy Jr. and Wesley also enjoyed going on the road with their father, watching from the side of the stage or from the mixing desk. On top of all that, Johnny Cash and June Carter lived next door and Bob Dylan would routinely pop round for jam sessions. Hardly surprising, then, that Alex Orbison ended up becoming a musician himself. Now running the Roy’s Boys organisation with his brothers to guard and nurture his father’s musical legacy, Alex has the opportunity to delve even more deeply into his musical heritage.