Fond memories of Roy Orbison

MUSICIANS and friends of Roy Orbison who played with him at Batley Variety Club flocked to West Yorkshire for a reunion.

The reunion of English band the Art Movement and other musicians who backed the 'Big O' for his performances in Batley in 1968 and on tour until the late 1970s took place at the Black Horse Inn in Clifton.

The location was chosen as it was one of Roy's favourite haunts when he was staying in the area.

He met his wife Barbara in Leeds in 1968.

People travelled from the USA, Canada, Germany, Wales, Sweden and London to attend the reunion, while local guests included Heckmondwike musician Sammy King and Batley's Derek Smith.

Sammy famously penned one of Orbison's biggest hits, Penny Arcade, while Derek ran Batley Variety Club and then owned the club later when it became the Frontier.

Roy and Barbara's son Roy Orbison junior was guest of honour.

The purpose of the gathering was to meet up and reminisce about times with Roy, just before the 20th anniversary of his death this December.

"It was great to hear the raucous touring tales as told by the band members – some of whom have not seen each other in over 30 years," said Terry Widlake, bass player and Roy's personal representative, from Nashville, Tennessee.

"As we approach the 20th anniversary of Roy's passing, we realise that many of our fondest memories of the 'Big O' are right here."