As a previous post mentioned, Roy Orbison’s career did have lull but Orbison’s career was fully revived by 1987. He lost some weight to fit his new image and the constant demand of touring, as well as the newer demands of making videos. Around this time Orbison confided in Johnny Cash that he was having chest pains and said he’d have to have something done, but he never did.
Orbison went to Europe where he was presented with an award and played a show in Antwerp. A few days later a manager at a club in Boston was concerned that he looked ill, but Orbison played the show to another standing ovation. Roy played at The Front Row Theater in Ohio on December 4, which would be his last performance. Finally, exhausted, he returned to his home in Hendersonville to rest for a few days before flying again to London to film two more videos for the Traveling Wilburys. On December 6, 1988, he spent the day flying model airplanes with his sons; then, after having dinner at his mother’s home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, he died of a heart attack at the age of 52.
The tabloid The National Enquirer suggested on its cover that Orbison had worked himself to death. A memorial was held in Nashville, and another in Los Angeles; he was buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.
Here Comes That Song Again
Only the Lonely