Richard Wright 1943-2008

In the early 1970s, I was in high school, and attended my fair share of high school dances. When the time came for the cover band (yes, we used to have bands at dances, not DJs) to play the slow-dance-with-your-main-squeeze song, there was really only one choice. Us and Them, from Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. To this day, I cannot hear that song without thinking fondly of those dances so long ago.

Richard Wright wrote the music for that song, and played the haunting, swirling keyboards on that track and countless other Floyd tracks. He was a brilliant musician who was treated rather shabbily later on in the Floyd saga, but he lives forever on that album (and quite a few others).

Richard died of cancer yesterday. David Gilmour had this to say: "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."

Thanks for the slow dances, Richard.

New York Times obituary


Isorski said...

That is a great story. I have always loved that song but never got to slow dance to it.

I posted a tribute at my blog too, at http://isorski.blogspot.com/2008/09/pink-floyds-richard-wright-passes-at-65.html.

sandy said...

Sad news, I like to imagine he was a good balance to Waters.

I've gotten into the habit of trying to pick a favourite and playing it a lot after hearing about a hero shuffling off this mortal coil.

It's been happening way too much lately.

For Wright I picked meddle, and echos in particular. It's a pretty astonishing collection of tones and textures. I think I read somewhere that Wright was a huge fan of eno and in particular the 80s Byrne collaboration.

Rather sadly I've already replaced echos in the dead people ipod playlist with late 60s Temptations and heard it through the grapevine'.

ps Great to catch up with again Jim