Monday, September 15, 2008

Pink Floyd Founding Member Richard Wright Dies At 65


Richard Wright, the self-taught pianist and founding member of Pink Floyd whose keyboard playing and compositions were at the heart of the band's classic albums, has died from cancer.

The 65-year-old musician, originally considered the leading musical force in the band before leaving after falling out with the singer and bassist Roger Waters, was diagnosed recently with the disease and died after a short illness, according to his spokesman.

His death came just days after David Gilmour, the band's lead guitarist, declared that a one-off reunion by the group at the Live 8 concert in 2005 was the last time he would play with the band.

Wright wrote two songs on the 1973 concept album The Dark Side of the Moon.

A spokesman for Wright, who had three children, declined to give further details about his illness. He said: "The family of Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd, announce with great sadness that Richard died today after a short struggle with cancer. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."

Wright helped found the group that eventually became Pink Floyd when he met Waters and drummer Nick Mason while studying at the Regent Street College of Architecture in the early 1960s. After several incarnations including Sigma 6, Pink Floyd started out as an R&B band but adopted an experimental approach when Syd Barrett, the singer and guitarist credited with creating their most psychedelic music, joined in 1964.

The keyboard player rejoined Pink Floyd in 1987 after a six-year hiatus, and also worked on a number of solo projects and collaborations with other musicians.

Pink Floyd songwriter, vocalist and guitarist David Gilmour said: "In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick's enormous input was frequently forgotten.

"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."

In memory of Mr. Wright, please enjoy a wonderful stream of a set recorded 6-28-1975 during the 'Wish You Were Here' tour :

Pink Floyd stream

4 comments:

homeofthewhopper said...

I was so saddened to hear this. RIP Rick. Thanks for everything!

My friend made this playlist in memoriam http://www.redux.com/playlist/pink_floyds_richard_wright_in_memoriam .

drewzepmeister said...

Sad day in the rock n' roll world,indeed. Richard Wright's imput was greatly underestimated. The piano solo in Us and Them is proof to all that. He will be surely missed. RIP Richard.

Isorski said...

That Us and Them solo is so great.I love the version in the Pompeii movie where there are no effects on anything and he's just laying down those simple riffs.

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

http://isorski.blogspot.com

Sadness said...

One of the Best gone!..he was brilliant and will be missed by all his fans..ENJOy the next life Richard

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