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16 Sep 2008 10:30
Richard Wright, a founding member of the rock group Pink Floyd, died on September 16. He was 65.
Pink Floyd spokesperson 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.
The group’s jazz-infused rock and drug-laced multimedia “happenings” made them darlings of the London psychedelic scene, and their 1967 album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, was a hit.
In the early days of Pink Floyd, Wright, along with Barrett, was seen as the group’s dominant musical force. The London-born musician and son of a biochemist wrote songs and sang.
The band released a series of commercially and critically successful albums, including 1973’s Dark Side of the Moon, which has sold more than 40-million copies. Wright wrote The Great Gig In The Sky and Us And Them for that album, and later worked on the group’s epic compositions such as Atom Heart Mother, Echoes and Shine On You Crazy Diamond.
But tensions grew between Waters, Wright and fellow band member David Gilmour. The tensions came to a head during the making of The Wall when Waters insisted Wright be fired.
As a result, Wright was relegated to the status of session musician on the tour of The Wall, and did not perform on Pink Floyd’s 1983 album, The Final Cut. Wright formed a new band, Zee, with Dave Harris, from the band Fashion, and released one album, Identity, with Atlantic Records.
Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985 and Wright began recording with Mason and Gilmour again, releasing the albums The Division Bell and A Momentary Lapse of Reason as Pink Floyd. Wright also released the solo albums Wet Dream (1978) and Broken China (1996).
In July 2005, Wright, Waters, Mason and Gilmour reunited to perform at the Live 8 charity concert in London—the first time in 25 years they had been onstage together.
Wright also worked on Gilmour’s solo projects, most recently playing on the 2006 album On An Island and the accompanying world tour.—Sapa-AP
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