Monday, September 15, 2008

RIP Rick Wright

One of the founding members of Pink Floyd died today of cancer. Rick Wright was 65 years old.

"My best times in the band were in the middle of the '60s," says Wright. "In the beginning we used to do jam sessions. We would start playing long tracks, that we never knew how and when they'll be over. But maybe also because this period of the sixties in London was very special. Nowadays, there aren't many musicians out of art schools, like it was then."

The Associated Press notes in his obituary,

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 sang.

The band released a series of commercially and critically successful albums including 1973's "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 later worked on the group's epic compositions such as "Atom Heart Mother," "Echoes" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond."

Here's a little bit of making "Us and Them".

Of course, as the band progressed tensions within the group grew. Wright was infamously pushed out of the band by Roger Waters during the making of The Wall, but kept as a session player for the tour. Wright returned to the band after Waters' departure.

Here is one of Wright's solo works performed by him and David Gilmour.

"If the band wouldn't have made it, I probably would've been a photographer."