Millions of viewers saw Bonnie Raitt win her four Grammys on Feb. 21; three nights later, a more intimate gathering of 6,251 at L.A.’s Universal Amphitheatre caught her first post-awards performance, part of an all-star tribute to the late Roy Orbison. “There will never be another singer like Roy,” said Raitt, who performed solo and also fronted for the Femme Fatales, a one-night-only girl group that featured k.d. lang, Emmylou Harris and others. “This is the high point of an unbelievable week. I couldn’t ask for anything better, except to have Roy here tonight.”
The show, a benefit for the homeless that will air on Showtime this spring, drew an odd-lot assortment of performers, including Dwight Yoakam, B.B. King, Patrick Swayze, former Byrds Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman and David Crosby, and Bob Dylan. Most sang Orbison hits, including “Crying” (Lang), “Ooby Dooby” (John Fogerty) and “Blue Bayou” (Harry Dean Stanton).
Why a homeless benefit? “Roy and I often discussed why so many people were homeless,” says his widow, Barbara, 38, who wanted to link the tribute to a worthy cause. “He identified strongly with them. In a career that spanned 35 years, he’d seen a lot of life.”
Crosby also tipped his hat to the concert’s stated purpose—”the homeless issue is a disgrace”—but didn’t let earnestness dominate the evening. “It was fun,” he said, stepping offstage. “Real fun.