Last December, the late Roy Orbison’s lost album, One of the Lonely Ones, was finally released via Universal Records. It was discovered by his sons who were preparing for the release of their father’s The MGM Years 1965 – 1973 box set. One of the Lonely Ones was recorded between January and August of 1969, but never released at that time, and thereafter forgotten.
One of the Lonely Ones was secretly recorded by Orbison at a pivotal time in his life. The musician was coping with the despair he suffered after two of his sons died in a house fire while he was on tour. Barely two years earlier, his wife Claudette died in a motorcycle accident.
The video for the album’s title track, “One of the Lonely Ones”, was directed by the husband and wife team of Michael and Alana Lawrence (billed as Daya & Wolf). It was shot on location at Little Darlings strip club in Las Vegas. Michael Lawrence says that for months he and his wife had been obsessing over the idea of using a mature woman in one of their films. “Roy Orbison has had a great effect on both our lives long before now. His music gives insight into the human condition, and his own life. Alana became fixated with the intrepid burlesque dancer Tempest Storm, 87, beautiful, and with a lifetime of stories. Equally fascinated, we intertwined both characters in the story – our image of Orbison’s words and Tempest’s beauty.”
Storm’s career in the 1950s and 1960s broke ground for the glamour and erotic scene. The 87-year-old’s past includes a romance with Elvis Presley and starring in films such as Paris After Midnight (1951), Striptease Girl (1952), French Peep Show (1954), Teaserama (1955) and Buxom Beautease (1956). She is also the subject of a feature length documentary that is currently in production.
For this music video, Lawrence says “we gravitated towards creating lush, cinematic visuals that truly captured the essence of the lyrics. Rather than create a dense narrative, we wanted to create a film that was more open-ended, with room for interpretation and speaks to one’s idea of loneliness and lost love. The neon light, aching lust, and heartache that fill a strip club seemed to best capture the emptiness. There is universality to this story. It is striking, when listening to the lyrics, to witness one’s older self on that same journey, walking into the night, in search of whiskey and good company.”