Singer-songwriter and synth pioneer Gary Wright, who penned the large hits “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive” and grew to become George Harrison’s longtime buddy and collaborator, died Monday morning. He was 80.
Wright’s son, Justin, confirmed the musician’s dying to Rolling Stone, including that the trigger was Parkinson’s illness and Lewy physique dementia. According to Justin, Wright was identified with Parkinson’s “round six or seven years in the past” earlier than a subsequent dementia analysis. “He managed it pretty properly for some time,” Justin tells Rolling Stone. “But just a few years in the past, he wanted skilled assist and home-care nurses and ultimately 24-hour care.”
Best recognized for 2 hits — “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive” off 1975’s The Dream Weaver — Wright’s contributions additionally included co-founding British rock band Spooky Tooth, producing for Traffic and the Rolling Stones and enjoying keyboards on buddy George Harrison’s landmark All Things Must Pass.
Born April 26, 1943 in Cresskill, New Jersey, Wright appeared on the present Captain Video and His Video Rangers
Although Wright reportedly thought-about music an unstable profession alternative and studied to turn into a physician — in the end finishing his research at the Free University of Berlin — music remained an integral a part of his life. In the late 1960, he moved to England and remained there for seven years, each as a member of blues-rock band Spooky Tooth (Wright wrote a number of the band’s largest songs) and a solo artist with A&M Records.
He launched two albums within the early Seventies — Extraction and Footprint — earlier than signing with Warner Bros. Records and releasing his 1975 breakthrough album, The Dream Weaver.
That album noticed enormous success as a consequence of its second single “Dream Weaver,” which Wright had written after visiting Harrison in India. The music, which stays a perennial standby for budding romance in numerous TV exhibits and movies, peaked at quantity two on the Billboard Hot 100 and offered over 1 million copies within the US and and was licensed double Platinum. (The album would go on to promote over 2 million copies.) The monitor helped bolster the file’s lead single, “Love Is Alive,” which additionally reached quantity two on the Hot 100. Backed by solely drums and a military of synths, the album is credited as being one of many first all-synthesizer data to earn widespread success.
Wright met Harrison by means of bassist Klaus Voormann, who invited Wright to play the piano on the previous Beatles member’s 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass. Their shared curiosity in Indian faith and music cast an enduring friendship between the 2, and Wright contributed to all of Harrison’s subsequent solo albums in the course of the Seventies.
“They grew to become quick pals. It was George who launched my father to his non secular path,” Justin tells Rolling Stone, including that the duo made a number of journeys to India collectively. Wright additionally carried out on releases that the previous Beatle produced for (*80*) Records together with Harrison’s former bandmate Ringo Starr’s 1971 “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Back Off Boogaloo” in 1972.
In the Nineteen Nineties and past, Wright’s work each as a solo artist and with Spooky Tooth would discover new life as hip-hop pattern fodder for Jay-Z, Eminem, City Girls and Raekwon, amongst many others. Jay-Z, Kanye West and producer 88-Keys famously flipped Spooky Tooth’s “Sunshine Help Me” for Watch the Throne’s “No Church within the Wild.”
Wright’s musical output slowed within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties, although within the 2000s, he performed exhibits with a reunited Spooky Tooth and joined Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. His final album — 2010’s Connected — was his first pop album in practically 20 years.
Fellow musician Stephen Bishop shared a tribute to Wright on Monday. “It is with nice unhappiness that I obtained the information of my pricey buddy Gary Wright’s passing,” wrote Bishop on X, previously referred to as Twitter, alongside images of the primary time they shared the stage with John Ford Coley. “Gary’s vibrant persona and distinctive expertise made each second collectively really pleasing. His legacy will reside on for a few years to come back.”