Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

No, Roy Orbison wasn't blind. This is just another one of those many urban myths about rock stars that have accrued over the years. (Type "Keith Richards blood transfusion" into Google and you'll soon see another one).

Many people think "The Big O" was blind because of his penchant for wearing dark glasses. Yet this was nothing more than a fashion statement. Although initially, Orbison only started wearing dark glasses by accident. While touring with The Beatles in the U.K. he left his regular pair of glasses behind on the plane just before the tour was about to start. The only pair he had with him was the pair of dark glasses that soon became his trademark.

Although Orbison wasn't blind, his eyesight wasn't great and so he had no choice but to stick with the shades. But after a short while they became an important part of his image, along with his otherworldly vocal style and remarkable lack of mobility when performing.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team