When I learned of his passing, I immediately had to listen to some Floyd and I must admit, shed some tears.
A friend of mine and I had always hoped to see Pink Floyd in concert. When they held their Division Bell tour, we did everything we could to attend and eventually secured two second row tickets for their concert in Minneapolis (1995?). I may not remember the date clearly, but I will never forget the concert and doubt I will see another concert remotely of the same magnitude.
Over the years that followed, I was pleasantly surprised to see Wright's solo album 'Broken China' and his later appearances with David Gilmour in concert and his recent album, 'On an Island'. Wright sings backup (and is easily heard) on the tunes on the hammond 'On an Island' and 'The Blue' (hammond and vocals). Both of which give me chills.
And then, ultimately - when all hope of Pink Floyd reuniting had all but vanished, they appeared on stage for Live 8 - I watched - stunned - and then wept with join as they played. And now, as I write this and think of Mr. Wright's passing - I'm finding it harder and harder to hold back the tears and vanquish the lump in my throat.
Wright had recently completed touring with Gilmour on his 'On an Island' tour - I just picked up the 2 disc CD and am holding off to listen to it until I have a blocked-out uninterrupted chunk of time. Yes, I take listening to anything Pink Floyd or incarnations thereof that seriously. As the 2 disc cd release has every song from 'On an Island' and many of Pink Floyd's earlier tunes - I am looking forward to hearing it a great deal.
According to some sources, Wright was working on an album and there's a possibility of it being released in instrumental form. I will most certainly purchase this. I'm assuming Guy Pratt (bassist for Pink Floyd projects after Waters exit) will have a large hand in it as he is married to Wright's daughter, Gala.
I owe a great deal to Mr. Wright. His part in Pink Floyd has greatly influenced me throughout my creative and waking life. There are few artists in this world that I feel have actually improved my quality of life. It may not be a physical thing that can be measured, but many a moment in life has been underscored and enhanced by the sound of Pink Floyd and Rick Wright's ethereal keyboard presence.
Thank you Mr. Wright. I'll miss you.
Richard Wright (28 July 1943 - 15 September 2008)
Quotes from the members of Pink Floyd in regards to Wright's passing are listed below:
Also - on Sept. 23, 2008 David Gilmour played Pink Floyd's 1968 song, 'Remember a Day' - in memory of Richard Wright. It is notable that this piece had never been performed live before: