Wright, Richard WilliamKeyboardist, singer, composer
Richard Wright was born on July 28 1943 to Bridie and Cedric Wright, wealthy Londoners. He grew up in Hatch End and like Nick Mason and Roger Waters, he studied architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic. He was one of the founding members of Sigma 6, the band that later became Pink Floyd.
Rick was the only one in the band who had at least some musical education (he took piano lessons). It is therefore no wonder that he composed some of the songs along with Gilmour and Waters. He focused particularly on long, mostly instrumental pieces such as A Saucerful Of Secrets, Echoes or Shine On You Crazy Diamond.
He significantly contributed to the most successful Pink Floyd album – Dark Side Of The Moon. He is the author of The Great Gig In The Sky and Us and Them, which had originally the working titles A Mortality Sequence and A Violent Sequence.
The soft and nice voice of Rick’s was also frequently used as a backing vocal and sometimes even the lead vocal (in Time or Echoes). Rick did not only play the keyboards, synths and organs (Hammond, Farfisa, Hohner, ARP, Moog, Prophet and from 1987 also Kurzweil), but also the vibraphone or even trombone, in the song Biding My Time.
At the time of the peaking crisis of Pink Floyd during the recording of The Wall in 1979, Rick Wright was a thorn in Waters’ side. He criticised his lack of interest in the project, his zero contribution and poor understanding of the project’s main theme. Today it is difficult to say what the truth was, because Mason did not contribute to The Wall much either and Gilmour’s participation was definitely lesser than usual. However, Waters asked Wright to leave the band voluntarily. Rick refused and Waters gave him an ultimatum: if Rick doesn’t leave the band on his own, Waters will let the project fall, which was unthinkable financially. Rick left Pink Floyd and only continued to perform in concerts with them as a hired musician. Paradoxically, he was the only person to profit from the tour, which meant a financial loss to Pink Floyd. The remaining members covered the losses themselves. Rick did not take part in making The Final Cut at all.
Before the release of The Wall in September 1978, Rick Wright released his first solo album named Wet Dream. The album was quite successful and today it remains one of the better solo projects.
In 1984, when Rick was not a member of Pink Floyd, he formed a duo called ZEE with guitarist Dave Harris of Fashion. The duo only released one not very well known album named Identity. Two years later the duo split up and Wright returned to his work with Pink Floyd as a hired keyboard player on Momentary Lapse Of Reason, which was then being prepared by Gilmour and Mason after the revival of Pink Floyd. During the unfinished Another Lapse tour which followed the release, Rick became a member of the band again.
Rick contributed significantly to the Division Bell album. He is the co-author of five of the songs and he shared the vocals with Gilmour on several tracks. The song Wearing The Inside Out in particular foreshadowed his next solo project.
It was the 1996 album Broken China inspired by clinical depression Wright’s girlfriend suffered from. Sinéad O’Connor, Pino Palladino and Tim Renwick tookl part in the recording.
Rick Wright also participated in making Gilmour’s third solo album On An Island. He performed with David in his 2006 concerts.
Rick Wright died of cancer on the 15th of September 2008.
Rick Wright was married to Juliette Gale from 1964 to 1982. In 1996, their daughter Gala married Guy Pratt, a bass guitarist who had performed with Pink Floyd from 1987 to 1994.
Rick loved yachting, especially in the Mediterranean, which inspired his album Wet Dream. Perhaps that is why his second wife was a beautiful Greek called Franka.
Rick’s son Jamie is a drummer in a trash-metal band.
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Vít Benešovský, Jan "Johnny" Petrus