Rich Wright 1943-2005

Rick Wright of Pink Floyd
“I know we’ve made some great songs and great music,” … “but I can’t tell you why we’re so popular” Richard Wright, keyboard player for Pink Floyd. 1943-2008

Fellow keyboard player Craig Padilla called me and told me the news. It made me terribly melancholy all day yesterday. As a musician, one is influenced by others. There are a number of keyboard players that have influenced me, but maybe only Richard “Rich” Wright had the most profound impact on me. I saw Pink Floyd’s live show at the Hollywood Bowl in 1971 (I was 16) and it was such an amazing musical event that it in some ways shaped my whole artistic life. They seemed magic. His understated style fit the music perfectly. They had a grasp of something so far ahead of other bands of the era, it was like they came from another world. I can still remember the event well. The audience was electrified. (It was Quadrophonic!) The memory sends shivers. I saw them several times since then, traveling far to catch their shows over the years. I could go on and on.

When I sit down to play, it was always that undefined magic I hoped to achieve. I’m not comparing myself to Richard, but he had that to which I aspire. When Craig Padilla and I try to describe our style of music to others, we often say it has some similarity to the instrumental parts of Pink Floyd. We also did a tribute of sorts at our live show at Turtle Bay last summer, working the keyboard intro from Wish You Were Here into one of our songs. It’s hard to explain. His impact was large. I can hear his playing in my head. Like it’s part of my DNA or something.
Somebody on another blog said “I’m not sure about this old age thing. People are dying!” Too true.

Remember when you were young
You shown like the sun
Now there’s a look in your eye
like black holes in the sky
Shine On you Crazy Diamond!

Wish You Were Here ends abruptly in a Major Key. So did you. RIP Rich. You live on in my spirit. My condolences to your family and bandmates.
Pink Floyd

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