Why Richard Wright Was Not On A Par With Dave Gilmour And Nick Mason In Pink Floyd
When studying architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic in London, Richard Wright met his future Pink Floyd bandmates Nick Mason and Roger Waters. Later on, Syd Barrett joined them, forming Pink Floyd together. In 1968, David Gilmour replaced Barrett and took over songwriting duties along with Waters and Wright.
Wright played keyboards, sang, wrote songs, and arranged them in the band. However, his contributions gradually diminished towards the end of the 1970s. In the end, he left Pink Floyd after touring for ‘The Wall’ in 1981. Six years later, he rejoined as a session player for the ‘A Momentary Lapse Of Reason’ album.
In 2005, Pink Floyd made an appearance on Live 8, and Wright joined Gilmour’s touring band to sing lead vocals occasionally before his passing on September 15, 2008. When he was playing with the band, Wright once thought that he wasn’t on a par with Gilmour and Mason.
Why Wasn’t Richard Wright At The Same Level As Pink Floyd Bandmates?
In 1986, David Gilmour began recruiting new musicians for Pink Floyd’s first album without Roger Waters, titled ‘A Momentary Lapse Of Reason.’ There were legal issues about Wright’s rejoining the band at that time. Pink Floyd then invited him to participate in the studio sessions and employed him as a musician by paying him $11,000 weekly.
Recording sessions for ‘A Momentary Lapse Of Reason’ began on Gilmour’s houseboat named ‘The Astoria.’ However, the band saw that working without Waters’ direction was quite challenging. Besides, Wright and Mason’s contributions to the album were minimal. Pink Floyd released ‘A Momentary Lapse Of Reason’ despite these challenges in September 1987.
At that time, Wright wasn’t an official member of Pink Floyd, and he didn’t legally join the band due to his contract, which stated he couldn’t participate as a full member. The musician then legally rejoined Pink Floyd in 1994. However, in a now-inaccessible 2000 interview with Classic Rock, he said being a full member but not being equal with Gilmour and Mason due to contractual reasons.
As reported by Wikipedia, Richard Wright told Classic Rock the following:
“I am a full member, but contractually, I am not on a par with Dave and Nick.“
Although he was one of the co-founders of Pink Floyd and a musician who contributed significantly to the band’s success, Richard Wright ended up being treated like a session musician due to his contract. This contract had been made after Waters decided to fire Wright due to his lack of contribution to ‘The Wall’ album.