Tuneage Tutelage - R.I.P. Richard Wright &Tuneage Tutelage Review

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Richard William Wright
(July 28, 1943 - September 15, 2008)

Some sad news in the music world came out yesterday. Richard Wright, a founding member of the rock group Pink Floyd, died Monday. He was 65.

Pink Floyd's spokesman, Doug Wright, who is not related to the artist, said Wright died after a battle with cancer at his home in Britain. He says the band member's family did not want to give more details about his death.

Wright met Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason in college and joined their early band, Sigma 6. Along with the late Syd Barrett, the four formed Pink Floyd in 1965.

Wright wrote significant portions of the music for the albums Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, as well as for Floyd's final studio album The Division Bell.

Wright was educated at the Haberdashers' Aske's School and the Regent Street Polytechnic College of Architecture, where he met Mason and Waters.

Wright sang lead on Barrett-penned songs like "Astronomy Domine" and "Matilda Mother", as well as notable harmonies on "Scarecrow" and "Chapter 24". Examples of his early compositions include "Remember a Day", "Paintbox" and "It Would Be So Nice".

Wright recorded his first solo project, Wet Dream, and released it in September 1978 with little fanfare.

He was forced to resign from Pink Floyd during The Wall sessions in 1979, by Roger Waters, who threatened to pull the plug on the album's tapes if Wright did not leave the band. However, he was retained as a salaried session musician during the subsequent live concerts to promote that album in 1980 and 1981.

Fittingly, Wright became the only member of Floyd to profit from those hugely spectacular shows, since the net financial loss had to be borne by the three remaining "full-time" members. He was the only member of the band not to attend the 1982 premiere of the film version of The Wall. In 1983, Pink Floyd released the only album on which Wright does not appear with The Final Cut.

In 1996, Wright released his second solo album, Broken China, considered to be a more focused and artistically successful work than Wet Dream and it contained extensive use of computer-based recording and production techniques, assisted by Anthony Moore with whom he co-wrote the album's lyrics.

He married his first wife, Juliette Gale, in 1964. The two had two children and divorced in 1982. He married his second wife Franka in 1984. They divorced in 1994. Wright married his third wife Millie (to whom he dedicated his second solo album Broken China) in 1996. Their one child is named Ben. In 1996 Wright's daughter Gala married Guy Pratt, a session musician who has played bass for Pink Floyd since Roger Waters' exit.

His keyboard playing was an integral part of the incredible music produced by this band. He was never an attention seeker as were his band mates...he just played brilliantly.

David Gilmour stated: "In my view, all the greatest Pink Floyd moments are the ones where he is in full flow. No-one can replace Richard Wright - he was my musical partner and my friend. 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. Like Rick, I don't find it easy to express my feelings in words, but I loved him and will miss him enormously. I have never played with anyone quite like him."

He will be missed by all Floyd fans...but his music lives on forever!

Floyd in 1968
(L to R) Nick Mason, Syd Barrett, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright

It seems almost cosmic, because next week, David Gilmour Live In GdaƄsk a double live album plus concert DVD will be released on September 23rd on Columbia Records.

Why cosmic? Well Monday I received TWO copies of the 2-disc CD (DVD not included) and Richard Wright appears with Gilmour, playing keyboards and contributing vocals. As I write this, it is playing in the background and let me tell you folks...it is fantastic.

David Gilmour Live In Gdansk, the first solo live album from Pink Floyd’s singer / guitarist, captures the magic of his concert held in front of 50,000 in the Gdansk shipyards, the final performance of his critically acclaimed 2006 On An Island tour.

That album has achieved multi-platinum status around the world, reaching number 1 in Europe, number 1 in the UK and number 6 in the U.S. It is the first ever live recording with an orchestra of Pink Floyd’s "High Hopes" and "A Great Day For Freedom", the latter performed here as a one-off for this special Solidarity anniversary.

The rest of the band includes Phil Manzanera on guitars and vocals; Jon Carin on keyboards; lap steel guitar, programming and vocals; Guy Pratt on bass guitar and vocals; Steve DiStanislao on drums and vocals and Dick Parry on saxophone and keyboards.

They perform with the Baltic Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Zbigniew Preisner.

The sound on this recording is vibrant and full. Gilmour's vocals and guitar playing sound as good as I have ever heard. The Orchestra behind them add a special dimension to the new songs and turn old favorites into new experiences.

The song collection includes "Time", "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", and "Wish You Were Here""Comfortably Numb" along with 18 other musical treats.

If you are a 'Floyd Fan', this is a must have for your collection.

YES, I said I received TWO COPIES. My contact at Sony/BMG was kind enough to include a copy for me and one to give-away to one of my lucky guests.

Personally, I saw Floyd twice live in concert and both times were spectacular events. Once was at Stony Brook University on Long Island during their Atom Heart Mother tour in 1970-71 and the second was at Madison Square Garden during their Wish You Were Here tour in 1975-76.

I have always been a huge fan of the space-psychedelic-improvisational album Ummagumma and would use various tracks to open and close my radio show in Rochester.

So, are you a fan of Floyd? Want to have this historic album in your collection?

Simple enough...write a comment telling me why you should have it. Tell me a story about a Floyd experience, whether it was seeing them in concert or one of their songs making an impact on your life.

I will announce the winner on Friday. Sorry Dana and Starr, you are both ineligible for this one.

A little taste of the album, the spectacular "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"....


20 Of Your Sparks

  1. katherine. Says:
  2. I always love to read these...I learn so much...

    (does it have to be a true story...or can i just make something up)

  3. Anndi Says:
  4. I have to pick one?

    OK.... The Genesis

    When I was a kid in grade school, every Christmas we would pick a name of a classmate in a bag and we would buy that student a present (like Secret Santa).
    We would give our secret Santa a few suggestions because there was no guarantee that your buddy was going to pick you and know which Smurfs you had in your collection and which ones you coveted (I was 10).

    I wrote my name on a sliver of paper complete with my signature happy faced flower (I was 10) and one suggestion. There was only one thing I wanted really.

    The big day came, we were going to exchange gifts.

    Oh boy!

    A boy from my class walked up to me with a big smile on his face. His name was Lee, he was Native Canadian and one of only three natives in our school. He always had red cheeks and very kind eyes.

    He beemed and handed me the present he had wrapped himself.

    I opened it and nearly knocked him to the ground when I hugged him.

    In my hands was my very own copy of "Another Brick In The Wall II", the single aka "We Don't Need No Education". The irony is not lost on me.

    My love affair with Pink Floyd started when I was 10.

    Now my Chicklet is 10 and it's her turn. Monday night, she sat and listened and consoled me as I mourned Rick's passing.

    It's time for her to have her own Pink Floyd. This would be a great start.

  5. Schmoop Says:
  6. In 1986 I had sex with Shirley Jones while listening to "Mother" over and over. Does that win me anything? Cheers!!

  7. KATHERINE: Thanks ...glad you learn...HEY how will I know if it is real or not...I even believe Matt's below!

    ANNDI: Great story...thanks for submitting

    MATT-MAN: I never knew you knew Shirley Jones.

  8. No apologies needed, Vinny, I would have passed on this one. Not because I don't love me some Floyd but more because I might have loved it too much.

    Floyd is and always will be literally part of my DNA. From 15 to 21 I don't think a day went by where I didn't listen to Floyd. Turning my kid onto them is one of my prouder parenting moments.

    It's hard for me to listen to Floyd. It just brings up some times that while they were great -it's painful to revisit. Ghosts you know.

  9. Dianne Says:
  10. Dana is ineligible for something! Whoa Momma ;)

    I'm going to admit to not being Floyd fan although I totally get why others are. Except for the Wall I just never got into them. Mt. Cat posted about Wright's passing - sad, so young.

    I do enjoy reading all your music posts. I learn so much :)

    Oh - Matt-Man forgot to mention he also slept with Danny Bonaduce. It was the Partridge years - we all were a bit wild!

  11. STARR: Understood...BUT, the next give-away, you are back in the mix!

    DIANNE: Well she won the last give-away...A very sad thing...the band in heaven just got better...
    Glad you enjoy the music posts and they bring knowledge your way.
    bwahahahahahahahahahha...I always had my suspicions, and even offered money for photos, but Danny is very loyal and told me he would not share those with anyone. Seems he is still pining for Matt-Man

  12. Jay Says:
  13. Great tribute to Richard Wright.

    I'm not a really big Floyd Fan so I'll rule myself ineligible for this one too.

  14. Fred Says:
  15. I was never a big Floyd fan. I could soo see you following them, though.

  16. Well done with the Richard Wright tribute.

    I am afraid after your review of the new David Gilmour CD, I can't wait. I'll be out to buy it this evening.

  17. Lu' Says:
  18. Very nice tribute Bond. A music give away too, right on. I am not worthy of the give away, but still think it is cool.

  19. Oops.

    I should have read the part that said it's not being released until next Tuesday.

    I shall have to wait.

  20. Travis Cody Says:
  21. We'll always have the music. Shine on, Rick.

  22. Dang Vinny...I think they need to start paying you!

  23. JAY: Thanks...and maybe next time it will be something you want

    FRED: Love them....thanks

    RWA: Thank you Sir. SO do you want to be in the contest? Give me a story

    LU': And why are you not worthy?

    TRAVIS: So, no want in?

    STARRLIGHT: Ah shucks...well I guess the free music is sort of a payment.

  24. I never got into Floyd, so I won't pretend to be a huge fan or anything. I could tell you that I would like the CD because I need to broaden my horizons musically, but then I'd be taking someone else's chance away.

    Besides, I don't think I could top Anndi's story. *grin*

  25. Bond, thanks, but I think I can make it to Tuesday. I don't think I could do better than Anndi either.

  26. leelee Says:
  27. I;ve seen Pink Floyd 3 times..

    Wish you were here MSG 75-76?

    Animals MSG July 77

    The Wall MSG 79

    All the concerts were absolutely freaking awesome..

    and the only story I have is an experience with some blotter (1st time) while listening to Dark Side of The Moon. I still have flashbacks to that night when I hear the album..thank goodness it was a good experience.

    Man I shudder when I think of doing that now...scarrrrrrrrry!!


  28. Patti Says:
  29. Hi Vinny,
    I have a true story...I like Pink Floyd (my era) but our daughter loves, loves, loves them.

    Story: when we went on a high school trip in 2005, our tour guide in Paris and London was a musician. He and our daughter got to talking about music, and she told him how she loves Floyd.

    As we were on the bus heading to Heathrow to return home, Francy (the tour guide) asked the driver to stop, so that Allegra could photograph the Battersea Power Station from the album Animals.
    He did and she did. It was a great moment, and a wonderful memory.

    I blogged about it here:

  30. Dana Says:
  31. Vinny! I am many things, but greedy isn't one of them *wink*

    Good luck everyone!!


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