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Farewell to Another Founding Member of Floyd

September 19, 2008

By Scott Iwasaki Deseret News

Another respected musician has left this world.

On Monday, Richard Wright, 65, the founding keyboardist for the band Pink Floyd, lost his battle with cancer and went to that “Great Gig in the Sky.” He joins another Pink Floyd founding member Syd Barrett, who died in 2006.

Pink Floyd is one of those bands that has stuck with me since I was in elementary school. Back then, here in Salt Lake City, there was a Saturday afternoon TV program called “Science Fiction Theater,” which would show monster movies and thrillers such as “War of the Gargantuas,”"Monolithic Monsters” and “Tarantula,” just to name a few.

The theme music for “Science Fiction Theater” was the percussive opening to Pink Floyd’s “Time,” from the 1972 album “Dark Side of the Moon.”

What a great, mysterious bit of music. And what’s more, when I think of Pink Floyd, I think of “Science Fiction Theater.”

But I digress.

When Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” came out in 1979, I was a few months away from becoming a DJ in my former stepdad’s roller disco in Kansas.

By the time I became a DJ there, we’d rent out the place for school parties. My favorite party was for an elementary school. All the kids requested the song “The Wall Part II,” which features the infamous line, “We don’t need no education …”

A few years later, the movie “Pink Floyd: the Wall” was released, and I was among the throng of Floyd fans who flocked to the theatre. And I was among the crazies who flocked to the midnight movie screenings of the movie years later.

I will not, however, be able to attend the midnight screening of the film this Friday at Brewvies, although I really want to go.

Anyway, Wright’s keyboards gave an even more dreamlike atmosphere to the already spacey Pink Floyd sound.

While most of the public knows “Dark Side of the Moon,”"The Wall” and “The Division Bell,” my favorite Wright keyboards can be heard on “Echoes,” from 1971′s “Meddle,” the first Pink Floyd cassette I bought with my own money, some 10 years after it was released.

I’ll have to find that cassette and listen to it this weekend. Then I’ll put on “Dark Side” for old time’s sake.

E-mail: scott@desnews.com

(c) 2008 Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.




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