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Richard Wright - band tributes Print E-mail
Monday, 15 September 2008

David Gilmour, Roger Waters, and Nick Mason - Richard's band colleagues and friends - have paid their own, personal tributes to Richard, and these are gathered here, along with some significant others who also worked with Richard over the years.

DAVID GILMOUR:

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:

"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."

Remembering Rick, by NICK MASON:

"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 [July 2005, Hyde Park] and the fact that we did surmount any disagreements and managed to play together. It was the greatest occasion".

Keith Emerson (keyboard player with The Nice and Emerson, Lake and Palmer in particular):

The most unassuming gentleman of prog rock as we know it today, the backbone of one of the most recognized bands Pink Floyd will be sadly missed by all.

I had an opportunity of briefly getting to know him and found him very exploratory both in the jazz sense and rock sense, and in every sense he had great karma.

My condolences go to the entire Pink Floyd band and Richard Wright's family.

With deep respect,
Keith Emerson

Joe Boyd (produced Pink FLoyd's first single):

Joe Boyd said Wright's keyboards were "an integral part of the Pink Floyd sound. He was a very nice and easy going person. It's very sad to hear of his untimely passing."

 
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