Monday, September 15, 2008

RIP Richard Wright

I guess I'm not the only RR-er listening to Pink Floyd tonight.

The one currently playing is "Is There Anybody Out There", the live version of The Wall from Earls Court in 1981. I know The Wall isn’t generally reckoned to be the high point of the career 28 years on, but it marked the point where I came on board as a fan, so that work still means a lot to me. And I saw that show, polystyrene bricks and all. It was the only time I ever saw the Floyd live, and the first really big gig I ever attended.

The relationship between Rick Wright and Roger Waters may have been strained at this point, but Rick's playing is superb on this live album. His style was always understated, never flash, but he was always a key element of Pink Floyd's sound.

Rest in peace, Rick, and thanks for the music. You were one of the greats.


DarceysDad said...

"RIP & thanks for the music" ? Wholeheartedly seconded, Tim.

"One of the greats" ?
Hmmm, not in my book, but then as I keep saying, I'm a non-musician, so what do I know?!

Unsurprisingly, Wish You Were Here on the DsD stereo as I type.

Tim (Kalyr) said...

OK, he wasn't a virtuoso like Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman, but that wasn't what Pink Floyd were about; that sort of playing would just have cluttered up their sound.

All too often people seem to think PF was all about Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour; but Richard Wright's understated and atmospheric playing was a crucial part of their sound.

CaroleBristol said...

Such terribly sad news.

All I hope is that he didn't suffer.

I have been out this evening and only just found this out.

He always seemed to be such a nice guy, he will be missed.

Abahachi said...

One of the things that strikes me about the Floyd in retrospect is how in many of their best songs (well, imho) the music is very much an ensemble effort, much more than the sum of its parts, rather than being dominated by one particular musician or instrument. It's the reason why some of my more, erm, hard-line rockist schoolfriends didn't seem to like or trust them much, and tended to focus on tracks where Gilmour was showing off - don't get me wrong, fantastic guitarist with great melodic sense, but there were times when it really felt like "time for Dave's solo" rather than anything more organic. Obviously as a former bass player I have enormous sympathy for people who just plug away in the background, playing what's needed, so I really want to echo kalyr's comments above: solid bloke, in musical terms.

Proudfoot said...

As you say, not a flash keyboard man but effective. He sang on quite a lot of their stuff too and DSOTM would be a pretty run of the mill effort without 'Us and Them' or 'Great Gig in the Sky'. I'm a big fan of 'Obscured by Clouds' and 'Meddle' and it's probably no coincidence that there's a bit less of Waters and a bit more Wright on those two.
Waters always grumbled that he was off on his yacht when he should have been in the studio. Well, life is short and good for him I say.I think I'd rather be on a 65 foot boat in the Virgin Islands than listening to Rog banging on about his dead father and the band's latest tax bills.
Happy sailing Rick.

CaroleBristol said...

I had the opportunity to play a lot of Floyd at work today - I had some of those "head down and plod" tasks.

While listening to DSOTM, it struck me how appropriate the lyrics to "Time" are;

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ carolebristol - I don't know what time you were listening to that, but as I was on my way to work at about 7 o'clock this morning I was listening to 'Time' and thinking the very same thing. When it came to the last two lines, I have to admit I felt a lump in my throat and had to momentarily hide my face from my fellow passengers. Beautiful...

RIP Rick

goneforeign said...

Back in the late 60's I was in UK and I saw a cheapo documentary on BBC at about 11.30 pm. It featured Roger Waters in a home studio in a barn, he was working on a piece titled Music from 'The Body". I found it fascinating and as soon as I returned to LA I researched it and found it, I bought it. It's music from THE BODY, a Kestral Film produced by Tony Garnett, Directed by Roy Battersby, it's on EMI SHSP 4008. It's by Ron Geesin & Roger Waters, Anybody seen the film or have the album?

goneforeign said...

There's a piece at NPR that PF fans might enjoy:

bethnoir said...

@goneforeign I have one track from the album on the strength of Atom Heart Mother which Ron Geesin was involved with. Can't say I rushed out to get the rest of the album.

I am also very saddened by the news. Been watching Live at Pompei, probably the music DVD I watch the most often and enjoying the way Rick and David Gilmour's voices blend during Echoes.

I agree Kalyr, he was a key element of the PF sound.