Rick Wright Dies At 65
15 September 2008 We are deeply saddened to report that Rick Wright has passed away at the age of 65 . His spokesman 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.” He did not say what form of cancer Rick had. We pass on our condolences to Rick’s family on behalf of all our visitors. A statement from the band is expected shortly. Fans wishing to pay their respects can do so in The Forum
David Gilmour Pays Tribute To Rick Wright
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 recognised Pink Floyd sound.
I have never played with anyone quite like him. The blend of his and my voices and our musical telepathy reached their first major flowering in 1971 on ‘Echoes’. In my view all the greatest PF moments are the ones where he is in full flow. After all, without ‘Us and Them’ and ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’, both of which he wrote, what would ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ have been? Without his quiet touch the Album ‘Wish You Were Here’ would not quite have worked.
In our middle years, for many reasons he lost his way for a while, but in the early Nineties, with ‘The Division Bell’, his vitality, spark and humour returned to him and then the audience reaction to his appearances on my tour in 2006 was hugely uplifting and it’s a mark of his modesty that those standing ovations came as a huge surprise to him, (though not to the rest of us).
Like Rick, I don’t find it easy to express my feelings in words, but I loved him and will miss him enormously.
Roger Waters Pays Tribute To Rick Wright
I was very sad to hear of Rick’s premature death yesterday, I knew he had been ill, but the end came suddenly and shockingly.
My thoughts are with his family, particularly Jamie and Gala and their mum Juliette, who I knew very well in the old days, and always liked very much and greatly admired.
As for the man and his work, it is hard to overstate the importance of his musical voice in the Pink Floyd of the 60’s & 70’s. The intriguing, jazz influenced, modulations and voicings so familiar in Us & Them and Great Gig In The Sky, which lent those compositions both their extraordinary humanity and their majesty, are omnipresent in all the collaborative work the four of us did in those times. Rick’s ear for harmonic progression was our bedrock.
I am very grateful for the opportunity that Live 8 afforded me to engage with him, & David & Nick that one last time. I wish there had been more.
Nick Mason Pays Tribute To Rick Wright
“Losing Rick is like losing a family member – in a fairly dysfunctional family. He’s been in my life for 45 years, longer than my children and longer than my wife. It brings one’s own mortality closer. I’ll remember Rick with great affection. He was absolutely the non-contentious member of the band and probably suffered for it. I wouldn’t say he was easy-going, but he certainly never pushed to any aggravation. It made life a lot easier.
“I first met Rick at the Regent Street College of Architecture. And I think Rick was always pretty much that same character I met in 1962. Rock’n’roll is a Peter Pan existence; no one ever grows up. Over a period, we gravitated towards the people who were less interested in architecture and more in going to the pictures and making music. The band happened a couple of years later. We all had very different ways of working. He always knew what he wanted to do and had a unique approach to playing. I saw an interview he did on TV, and he said it clearly: “Technique is so secondary to ideas.” Roger [Waters] said the more technique you have, the more you can copy. Despite having some training, Rick found his own way.
“To some extent, I think, the recognition for what he did in the band was a bit light. He was a writer as well as a keyboard player, and he sang. The keyboard in particular creates the sound of a band. By definition, in a rock’n’roll band people remember the guitar solo, the lead vocal or the lyric content. But a lot of people listen to our music in a different way. The way Rick floats the keyboard through the music is an integral part of what people recognise as Pink Floyd. He wrote “The Great Gig in the Sky” and the music for “Us and Them”.
“We were a very close-knit band and one always has the memory of that. We spent a lot of time together between 1967 and the mid-1970s. Rick was a very gentle soul. My image of Rick would be him sitting at the keyboard playing when all the fireworks were going on around him. That’s the main quality one remembers, in a band where Roger and David [Gilmour] were more strident about what they believed should be done.
“If there’s something that feels like a legacy, it’s Live 8 and the fact that we did surmount any disagreements and managed to play together. It was the greatest occasion”.
Times Of London Reveals More About Rick’s Medical Condition The Times Newspaper (September 19) has reported that Rick Wright was diagnosed with cancer in December 2007. They went on to say that Rick was continuing to develop his new instrumental album, and that after the diagnosis Rick spent even more time on his boat trying to get well.
Nick Mason Talks About Rick Wright In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nick has given some of his thoughts after the passing of Rick Wright. Nick stated “Pink Floyd wouldn’t have been Pink Floyd if we hadn’t had Rick. I think there’s a feeling now — particularly after all the warfare that went on with Roger and David trying to make clear what their contribution was — that perhaps Rick rather got pushed into the background”. When asked how Rick was on a personal level he said ” He was by far the quietest of the band, right from day one. And, I think, probably harder to get to know than the rest of us. But after 40 years, we probably felt we did know him quite well. We were just beginning to make inroads, perhaps”. When asked if he had a a particularly fond memory of Rick, Nick answered “I have to say that I think a number of our memories have to do with the ways that we all dealt with money. The first meeting with Roger I wouldn’t lend him my car and Rick wouldn’t give him a cigarette. And really we just carried on exactly like that for the next 40 years.”
Rick Wright Tributes Pouring In It comes as no surprise that thousands of tributes to Rick Wright are being recorded across the world. We have been inundated with links to press articles, TV & Radio shows and statements by a multitude of performers and other artists. We thank you all for sending in this info, but there are so many tributes that it would be impossible to bring them all to you. We thank those who have already contacted us (our email boxes are stuffed full) but we will probably not be able to use all this information. We are hoping to get back to all who contacted as soon as we are able. In the meantime, many thousands have already viewed the tributes to Rick in our Pink Floyd Forum and we invite you to join in and say a few words
Remember A Day Live – David Gilmour’s Tribute To Rick Wright In an emotional appearance on ‘Later Live… with Jools Holland’ on BBC HD and BBC2 last night (23 Sept) David Gilmour and band performed a poignant tribute to the late Rick Wright by performing Remember A Day. The song, written by Rick in 1967 for Pink Floyd’s Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, but ultimately released on their follow up album A Saucerful Of Secrets in 1968, had never been performed live before. The full show will be broadcast on Friday (26 Sept) on BBC 2 which will feature Remember A Day and The Blue.