I just received the disturbing news from my wife that Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright has passed away at age 65 from cancer. Growing up Floyd was my absolute favorite band (and still remain one of my favorite four or five) and, as a pianist, I had a particular fondness for Wright who contributed quite a bit in the early days of the band (prior to Roger Waters’ prolonged ego-trip). Wright was still a major contributor when Floyd came out with arguably one of the most complete and balanced (nearly every song is top quality) rock album in history, The Dark Side of the Moon. As it happens, Dark Side still holds the record for the longest consecutive run on the Billboard Top 200 – 14 years. Even though The Wall outsold it, Dark Side proved to have greater longevity and a more lasting impression, thanks in part to Wright.
A little known fact that I picked up from reading a number of Floyd bios over the years, was that several of the original members including Wright had, at one time or another, considered architecture as a career. As a result, many of their long, drawn-out songs that some folks attribute to some drug-induced state, were actually methodically crafted to the point that the band would sometimes make graphs of how they wanted the music to flow.