Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Not here, my dear: Rick Wright's will

The Telegraph seems strangely obsessed with Rick Wright's decision to leave his ex-wives nothing in his will - is there some social mos that I've missed that you're supposed to leave money to people you've divorced?

What's more eyecatching is the amount of cash left behind by Wright:

Profits from writing, recording, performing and royalty meant that Wright was worth £23.7 million when he died a year ago from cancer at the age of 65.

I think the paper means "royalties" rather than "profit from... royalty." Wright wasn't, as far as I know, running a string of Duchesses in the Polite Cage Fighting scene.

Twenty-three point seven million. Sloshing about. It's an interesting figure, at a time when the BPI and UK Music are straining to uphold the current arrangement of the music industry, suggesting that it's file-sharers who are stopping young artists from making money. How many four-piece guitar bands could have been kept going it just half of that cash had been redirected rather than sent straight to Pink Floyd? The pile of pounds shows that the music industry really isn't working very well for most bands, but incredibly nicely for a few.


Anonymous said...

but he did earn that money. its his. despite the practices of the industry that ensure that an artist gets paid the absolute, absolute minimum for their efforts (if at all), he managed to earn that fortune by writing music that was released on some of the biggest selling records of all time, used in films and television ads, and the Pink Floyd show was engaging enough that people flocked in their hudreds and hundreds of thousands to pay money to see it.

rather than suggesting that this money could be distributed to struggling indie rock bands, maybe it should be displayed in a huge unbreakable perspex case in bundles of crisp new £50 notes outside the offices of the FAC as a lesson.
"The world doesn't owe you a living. Even the keyboard player in an experimental psychedelic rock band could earn ALL THIS, because he spent more time creating art that people genuinely enjoyed than he did hanging around the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen trying to pal up to NME writers. get out there and do some work and quit complaining about money that isn't yours, scruffy"

or something.

simon h b said...

Well, yes, he did earn it - but part of the reason he earned it was the major label music industry's habit of pushing a very few bands incredibly hard - reissuing Pink Floyd records rather than trying to create new acts.

To be fair, that's their business. It's just sickening when they pretend it isn't.

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