Thursday, September 18, 2008

RIP - Richard Wright

LONDON, Sept 16 - Richard Wright, a founding member of Pink Floyd, died yesterday. He was 65.

The rock group’s spokesman, Doug Wright, who’s unrelated, said Wright died after a battle with cancer at his home in Britain. He said the band member’s family did not want to give more details about his death.

Wright met Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason in college and joined their early band, Sigma 6. Along with the late Syd Barrett, the four formed Pink Floyd in 1965.

The group’s jazz-infused rock and drug-laced multimedia “happenings” made them darlings of the London psychedelic scene, and their 1967 album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, was a hit.

In the early days of Pink Floyd, Wright, along with Barrett, was seen as the group’s dominant musical force. The London-born musician and son of a biochemist wrote songs and played the keyboard.

“Rick’s keyboards were an integral part of the Pink Floyd sound,” said Joe Boyd, a prominent record producer who worked with Pink Floyd early in its career.

The band released a series of commercially and critically successful albums including 1973’s “The Dark Side of the Moon”, which has sold more than 40 million copies. Wright wrote “The Great Gig in the Sky” and “Us and Them” for that album, and worked on the group’s epic compositions such as “Atom Heart Mother”, “Echoes” and “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”.

But tensions grew among Waters, Wright and fellow band member David Gilmour. The tensions came to a head during the making of “The Wall” when Waters insisted Wright be fired. As a result, Wright was relegated to the status of session musician on the tour of “The Wall”, and did not perform on Pink Floyd’s 1983 album, “The Final Cut”.

Wright formed a new band Zee with Dave Harris from the band Fashion, and released one album, “Identity”, with Atlantic Records.

Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985 and Wright began recording with Mason and Gilmour again, releasing the albums “The Division Bell” and “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” as Pink Floyd. Wright also released the solo albums “Wet Dream” (1978) and “Broken China” (1996).

In July 2005, Wright, Waters, Mason and Gilmour reunited to perform at the “Live 8” charity concert in London - the first time in 25 years they had been onstage together.

Wright also worked on Gilmour’s solo projects, most recently playing on the 2006 album “On an Island” and the accompanying world tour.

Gilmour paid tribute to Wright yesterday, saying his input was often forgotten.

“He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognised Pink Floyd sound,” he said. “I have never played with anyone quite like him.” - AP

Sigh . . . Having been so caught up with the state of political flux here, me completely missed this piece of news. Like millions of music lovers, the Floyd was a constant on our turntable/CD player/ipod & gave many pleasurable & guilt-free hours of self-absorption.

Thanks fer the music Rick Wright . . . may yer journey onwards be as trippy & wonderful as the incredible music you made.

ps: Who can forget the mood set by Richard Wright's synth intro to Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Understated, sombre & yet bursting with emotion . . .

pps: pix caption (above): In this file photo dated March 3, 1967, members of the rock band Pink Floyd, Roger Waters (left), Nick Mason (second from left), Syd Barrett (second from right) and Richard Wright (right). - AP pic


senorita.. said...

oh, didnt know it's so recent. i checked out the vid u said and people were leaving "RIP Richard Wright" comments.. i thot he died some time ago. i'm ignorant. anyway,RIP to him. am sure he has shaped n influenced millions across the world..

anfield devotee said...

senorita: Thanx fer checking out the vid. If you ever wanna check out Pink Floyd, do listen to Dark Side of The Moon (1973) & Wish You Were Here (1975).

These are "albums" in the proper sense of the word in that they should be listened to in its entirety.

Dark Side holds the record fer longest stay in the album charts while the latter is . . . well . . . just a personal fave of mine.

Founder member Syd Barret is rock's most famous acid casualty (google fer his fascinating story) & also died in a few years ago.

As fer Rick Wright, he was just an unassuming musician who has left behind an incredible legacy fer generations to come.

Wifey & meself are planning to have a tribute this weekend by staying in & playing all the Floyd albums in the company of a few drinks . . .

Life's Like That said...

AD : Stop giving excuses to Thani!

YBmozcavalera said...

tuan balayuvchenko,

may the dude keep on trippin. funny that you should write this up, just last week i developed this sudden spurt of progrock fascination (if you can call it that) after i accidentally bumped into some dubbed kingcrimson on the player. yeap. king beladi crimson.
how did if find them?
honestly? unfortunately, unbearable. my loss i guess, but i tell yu one thing that kept making me play one of the tracks over and over (i had a total of 4 and a half tracks) was the
burnintheloins fretwork of MR.FRIPP...aitelllyuuu
all i have to say is...
dasattt beb.

coming back to the floyd, before reading this piece, i always though they were just all about gilmour/barret and water, i didn't gauge the level of this dudes contribution.

they are good. atmospherically brilliant rolled out on spaced out dough. but i dunno why i just never could stick and parkmyarse down through one lp yet alone one of their epic tracks. on occassions i have sleptoff sober. many times, even with premo palming of a recording or two - still nothing gives.
*sigh* i guess some bands however good they are, if they don't move you on a raw personal emotive level, it just doesnt stick. or then again, it could be a case
of kera dapat bunge mwahahhaha.

cheers for the postings keep em coming.

p.s.1 - kinda like manowar for you la chief :)))

YBmozcavalera said...

i meant to say, even with premo expounding on some of the floydian virtues - i could not grasp whats in it.
too thick i guess, this concrete skull.:L

Achilles said...

AD: i also agree with LLT. If wanna thani, just say so-lah... we understand. hehehehehe

but on a serious note, this is indeed sad.

Me personal Fav album is Division Bell... though i know many hard core floyd fans will disagree with me.

Got to go home to watch the video.

Anba said...

Balji:- thats a nice way of paying tribute to Wright..
me 2 just found abt 30 mins ago...
Now an lookin for my Pinkie Mp3's ...

RIP Mr Wright...
you were right about your music all the time...

anfield devotee said...

achilles: Nothing wrong with the Division Bell. Played it a few weeks back & still resonates with enough Floydian vibes fer it to be played again. But as you know, how many bands can count landmark releases such as Dark Side, Wish U Were Here & of course The Wall in their discography. So a bit difficult fer much of the later output to match any of those three albums la.

moz: Bro, fully understand yer sentiments. Just one of them things la me suppose. But might me suggest you try Wish You Were Here la. That's one super duper fooking mellow trip . . . well worth 45minutes of yer time me thinks.

LLT: Dude, its the Floyd la. Vital contribution to the soundtrack of me humble life thus far . . . me is saddened la, especially when some of us were expecting a reunion after the recent Live8 gig where Floyd was the headliners.

ps: me don't need no excuse to drink. Thirsty, drink la . . .

anfield devotee said...

anba: So there goes the reunion. Me still remebers being tickled by the title one of the compilation LPs - "A Collection of Geat Dance Songs". Remember that?

Hee heee . . . last thing stoners wanna do whilst listening to Floyd is fooking dance!

Turn on, tune in & fooking drop out . . .

Kopite78 said...

Indeed a sad day for the music industry. A great loss. May his soul rest in peace.

I had the honour of of being at one of the Division Bell concerts in Earl's Court, London in 1994. What a concert it was. Absolutely mind blowing. Then again that was what Pink Floyd was all about.

Thanks for all the great music you gave us, mate.

kevo said...

RIP Richard Wright.

Didn't know he passed. Damn. Sad news. The Floyd were great stuff, avant garde, simply musical geniuses. Much appreciated during me school days. Loved their LP covers.

Not a huge fan like you really but shall do a Floyd tribute just the same and clear me stereo off some jazz shite fer a bit and pay homage by givin the ol boys a spin again. Wish You Were Here seems apt. RW, PF - Respect.

Anba said...

you just gave me the heebie jiebies...cause i was and am listening to that album a collection of great dance song...

anfield devotee said...

kevo: Yeah dude, them sleeves by Hipgnosis were fooking ace. Part of the whole PF mystique . . .

anba: set the controls fer the heart of the sun . . .

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

ok here's another confession. cant relate much on PF. except that i thought it was barrett was the main man.

Tinesh said...

hardly heard PF except for Another Brick in The Wall..hehe..Classic punk/teenager's anthem la

Tinesh said...

hardly heard PF except for Another Brick in The Wall..hehe..Classic punk/teenager's anthem la..

RIP dude, say hello to Syd for the rest of em

Mohan said...

AD Dude: I got acquainted with Pink Floyd while watching The Wall with Pink(DBowie..loved how he shaved his eye brows) while passing along InterSpace(don't ask..but it was a double Chamber..hahaha)..then went back to their earlier stuff. Amazing band..not my era but will always remind me of the good of music and how it brought me out of melancholy and got me into it again!

Here's on for you Rick::
Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.
(Breathe, Dark Side of the Moon, PF).

Mohan said...

p/s: Am celebrating the listening to Helmut now(more of my time) and gettin' smashed!!

Mohan said...

p/s2: Apologies. Must be more smashed than I think..salah eja.. HELMET Rocks!

Achilles said...

AD: No doubt "wish you were here" and "dark side of the moon" are classics.. but me just like division bell more...guess its one of those personal things-lah...

BTW, checked out the video last night and kinda forgot how every riff of floyd just sweeps you away to another place....just close your eyes, listen and escape.... fooking awesome stuff dude.

anfield devotee said...

Tinesh: Aiyo . . . thambi . . . Every budding musician must be closely acquainted with the Floyd la.

Kerp: Syd founding member. Later the two main egos were Waters & Gilmour. But Rick Wright played an enormous part in shaping Floyd's sound.

Mohan: You must be really smashed! Dude, it wasn't Bowie in the film la, it was Bob Geldof!

Yup, music fer them melancholy blues allrite.

ps: Love Helmet as well. Saw em live supporting Ministry a while back.

achilles: Its all good. So looks The Bell will be Floyd's last album . . . sigh . . .