Sad news. Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright passed away yesterday after a short battle with cancer according to the band's website. Wright was a founding member of the classic rock band. He was 65.
While Wright was often overshadowed in the spotlight by his more colorful and combative bandmates his playing was an integral part of the group's sound. If bassist Roger Waters' apoplexy and outrage were the head and David Gilmour's liquid guitar lyricism the heart than Wright supplied indispensable soul - and a sense of light and air- with his diverse parts.
Think about it, what would "Comfortably Numb" be without that sweet willowy keyboard or "The Great Gig in the Sky" without the mournful piano underpinning Claire Torry's celestial wails? And pretty much all of the dreamy atmospherics of every record - from the early psychedelic freak out organ stuff like "Interstellar Overdrive" to the gauzy "The Dark Side of Moon"- were shaped in part by Wright's steady hand.
Here's a clip of the group's final performance of "Wish You Were Here" from its hell-froze-over reunion at Live 8.
Hopefully, Wright has joined friend and bandmate Syd Barrett at that great gig in the sky.
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ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
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