Sep 15, 2008

PINK FLOYD'S - RICHARD WRIGHT (1943-2008)

Legendery Pink Floyd co-founder, keyboard, piano player, & vocalist Richard Wright passed away on Monday September 15, from a battle with cancer. He was 65.

We all have our Pink Floyd memories. For me it began with the "Animals" album when old pal Darren turned me on to WPLJ in 1977. Then by the time "the Wall" came out I was a die hard. Drawing all the pictures and studying the lyrics. I was a regular at the Pink Floyd Lazer shows at the Hayden Planetarium and at the Ziegfeld in the smoking section of the balcony for sometimes two showings of movie "The Wall". I saw them 4 times through the years & of course tripped with them many times. Unfortunately there will now never be a reunion tour. At least they had one last Hurrah at last years Live Eight shows- "Shine On Rick to that Great Gig in the Sky"..........

Richard William Wright was born in Middlesex England July 28, 1943. He taught himself how to play the piano & keyboards. In Architect College he met Roger Waters & Nick Mason and they formed Pink Floyd. They were soon joined by Syd Barrett. On their first album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" Wright sang lead on "Astromine Domine" & "Matilda Mother". Wright's keyboards were a major part of the Pink Floyd sound.

Some of his early works include "Remember a Day" "Paintbox" &"It Would Be So Nice". As the sound of Floyd changed, and David Gilmore signed on, Wright became more focused on his layered keyboards, synthesizers, & sound effects. His more famous works in this period are the instrumentals "Great Gig In the Sky"& "Us & Them". Not forgetting his fantastic work on "Breathe" & "Time" (which he sang lead vocal parts) from the "Dark Side of the Moon" album. (The album sold over 40 million copies & was on the charts for 15 years.)
Other great works include essential contributions & credits on the epic " Echoes" (which he shares lead vocals with David Gilmore)"Atom Heart Mother" "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" "Interstellar Overdrive" "A Saucerful of Secrets" "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" "One Of These Days" "Sysyphus" & musical themes for film scores "Obscured by Clouds" "More" & "Zabriskie Point".
By the late 1970s Wrights relationship with Roger Waters was so bad he was forced to resign from the band. If he didn't quit, Waters threatened not to release "The Wall" album. He was rehired by the coaxing of David Gilmore & Nick Mason as a salaried session musician for "The Wall" concert tour in 1980 & 1981. He was the only member of the band that didn't go to the release of the film "The Wall" and he did not appear on the 1983 album "The Final Cut". It would be the only Floyd album Wright would not play on.

Wright rejoined Pink Floyd when Roger Waters left the band. He is not pictured on the 1987 album "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" due to contractual reasons but was a full time member of the band by the time of the World Tour came around. He sang the tune "Wearing the Inside Out" on the 1993 album "The Division Bell" and playing on that tour made him & Nick Mason the only two members that played on EVERY Pink Floyd Tour.

Wright has released two solo albums "Wet Dream,'' in 1978, and "Broken China,'' in 1996. Wright also played on David Gilmore's solo albums including 2006 "On An Island".
On Monday David Gilmore remembered Wright: "I'm so sorry to break the sad news that Richard has passed away after a battle with cancer."I really don't know what to say other than that he was such a lovely, gentle, genuine man and will be missed terribly by so many who loved him. And that's a lot of people. He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognized Pink Floyd sound, I have never played with anyone quite like him."

3 comments:

Jeannie A. said...

Lou - Your tribute was awesome! It left me "Comfortably Numb." Although Wright will be missed, his music is legendary and will live on forever.

centerfield Maz said...
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Dr. G said...

You continue to raise the bar! Great tribute and seamless expository writing with a great personalized narrative flow. I always look forward to your blog entries! Keep 'em coming bro!

Dr G