Monday, September 15, 2008

Progobit: Richard Wright

The death has been announced of Richard Wright, Pink Floyd's keyboardist.

A founder member of Pink Floyd - and, indeed, a member of the pre-Syd version of the band, Sigma 6 - Wright initially shared vocals with Barrett and contributed a more than generous share of the songs. Wright contributed The Great Gig In The Sky to Dark Side Of The Moon, but got caught in the crossfire of band politics. Roger Waters had him fired during the session for The Wall, shamefully reducing Wright's credits to that of "session musician".

After his cashiering, Wright teamed up with Fashion's Dave Harris for the short lived Zee band - one album, Identity, eventually seeing the light of day; then, the Pink Floyd wheel turned once more and, with Roger Waters out of the band, Wright returned. It wasn't an entirely equal-footed return, though - for what are usually described as "legal reasons", on A Momentary Lapse Of Reason Wright's face was banished from the sleeves and his name appeared in smaller letters than the other members'. Presumably to satisfy lawyers who had temporarily misplaced their reading glasses.

The paperwork was sorted out, and so by 1994's The Division Bell the Floyd were again recording Wright's songs. A peace, of a sort, was even made with Roger Waters, when the four non-Syd-but-still-classic members came together for whatever charity gig it was - Live8.

Meanwhile, Wright finally got around to following up his 1978 solo album with a second record, Broken China.

Wright died of cancer earlier today. He was 65. Dave Gilmour led the tributes, blogging:

"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. Did he not get the loudest, longest round of applause at the end of every show [when they toured together] in 2006?"