Number 800 and Richard Wright

Not only is this blog number 800, but I have purchased a domain name and upgraded to a better plan on the hosting site.  I wanted to make sure this writing thing was going to last before making a commitment.  After 799, I figured it was safe to make the investment.

The topic for 800 is Richard Wright.  I have written before about the gentle soul of the late Pink Floyd keyboardist, but I thought he deserved another mention.  He was the soul of Pink Floyd.

YouTube has many videos of Richard Wright, mainly with Pink Floyd and accompanying fellow Floyd alum David Gilmour on his occasional tours as one of his keyboard players.

Richard Wright and Davis Gilmour

Wright brought a delicacy to Pink Floyd, his soft soundscapes gave the band a dreamy, spacey sound quality on piano, organ and then synthesizer.  Wright could have been a jazz musician, his chord sequences and stylings gave the band’s sound a more dynamic texture, particularly as Floyd dabbled in progressive-rock in the early 1970s.  You can hear his influence on Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon in particular.

By the mid 1970s, Wright was pushed to the sideline and by The Wall, he was out of the group, courtesy of Mr. Waters.  Solo projects, that sadly flew under the radar, and his love of sailing, kept him busy until David Gilmour came calling to bring him back into the new Pink Floyd, first as a sideman and then as a member.  Much of that I discuss in my earlier blog about him.

Back to the YouTube videos.  Wright is very visible on the Pink Floyd live tours and albums for The Delicate Sound of Thunder (1988) and Pulse (1995).  He also accompanied Gilmour on David Gilmour in Concert (2000), Remember That Night (2007) and Live in Gdansk (2009).

In a 2002 performance at the Royal Festival Hall, Gilmour calls Wright to the stage to sing one of Wright’s solo songs, “Breakthrough,” from his album Broken China.

On the Remember the Night and Live in Gdansk tours, Wright gets a rare moment in the spotlight as he takes the lead vocal on “Wearing the Inside Out” from The Division Bell, a song that he co-wrote.

A tribute for fans about Richard Wright including a performance of “Wearing the Inside Out.”

When introduced to the audience by Gilmour, fans showered him with love. Wright is always gracious, but never quite comfortable with the attention. One time in particular, the outpouring when on longer than usual, causing Wright to be a bit overcome with emotion.

Wright can also be found on several videos recorded by Gilmour in 2007 under the Barn Jam series.  Gilmour, Wright, Guy Pratt and Steve DiStanislao are featured in several instrumental jams.  Wright’s playing is quite good as he stretches out on the songs displaying his understated, but innovative playing.

As Gilmour notes in an interview, Wright played second fiddle to the noisier guys in the band. His presence was felt through his music, it was the mortar between the tectonic plates of Pink Floyd. Rest In Peace, Richard Wright.

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