And every day, the paperboy brings more

Poor Richard Wright. The Pink Floyd keyboardist, who died earlier this week at the age of 65, deserves better.

In life, Wright labored in the shadow of band leaders Syd Barrett and, later, Roger Waters. Despite significant contributions during Pink Floyd’s glory years of the 1970s, Wright was ousted from the band by the increasingly imperious Waters. Given that, it’s a tribute to Wright that he participated in the Floyd reunion at the Live 8 concert in 2005.

In death, Wright continues to get little respect. The Associated Press, as seen here, got the details of the band’s history wrong. “Atom Heart Mother” and “Echoes” were recorded and released before “Dark Side of the Moon,” not afterward. A bit of fact checking could have prevented that error — yet another example of the need to edit wire stories. Even worse is the headline from The Huffington Post. “Pink Floyd guy” is flippant and disrespectful. It’s also not great for search engine opitimization — “Richard Wright” was the top search term on Google Trends when news of Wright’s death hit the Web.

For a proper sendoff as Wright goes to the great gig in the sky, try this appreciation at NPR’s site and this post at David Menconi’s blog, On the Beat.



  1. For “The Great Gig In The Sky,” if nothing else, Richard Wright is a timeless great. I will similarly eulogize singer Clare Torry should that sad day arrive in my lifetime.

    A fine latter-day display of Wright’s talents can be heard/seen on David Gilmour’s just-released “Live At Gdansk” album/DVD, made from shows performed in late 2006. I saw Gilmour and Wright (and Dick Parry, who did all the great sax work on “Dark Side Of The Moon”) on a different leg of the same tour in ’06 in Seattle and was absolutely mesmerized by the sheer hypnotic glory of their music.

    A true selfless sideman who knew his strengths and weaknesses, and plied his craft guilelessly through years of abuse by Roger Waters, Wright deserved a much bigger sendoff in the media than he got. I had to fight for two measly paragraphs in my own paper.

    Jim Thomsen

  2. Two grafs? Ouch. The Raleigh paper ran about 8 inches.

    I kinda wish the “classic” lineup had done one more gig before Wright died so they could perform “Echoes.”

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