Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Discuss all things Richard Wright from his epic keyboarding to the wonderful songs he created for the band!
layne1
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by layne1 »

Hello all! I didn't think I would get a response as I thought this forum was a bit dead but I'm glad I've managed to rekindle a debate about this!

Unfortunately I forgot my password for this forum account, so I couldn't get in until now, nor did I think that there would be another 4 pages of debate after this so I didn't check for a while - but now I'm back to just touch on some of the points made since I posted; mainly the claim I made about "[Rick] still had some affection for Pink Floyd", and the responses that he was still getting paid and therefore didn't care too much, and also that the "surrogate band" concept couldn't work without Rick.

I agree on that second point - no matter how much the public knew (or, i think more importantly, cared) about the individual members, it's still a cool concept that I wish I could've seen executed live - but I'm not sure if I agree with the first, as all the evidence I've seen points to something completely different.

I think this is from the 1999 MOJO article, but I could be completely wrong (and rather would like to see some contray evidence, if anyone has any please lmk so I can find out some more!!), but this quote seems to point to something different;

Wright: "I shut off the whole idea I was leaving the band. I actually fooled myself that I’d play as well as I could and maybe he’ll admit he was wrong.  So I put everything into it.  The pictures look like we’re all together.  I was in limbo.  “I’m going to try and enjoy the show”, that was my feeling.  Roger was saying somewhere that we had separate caravans and changing rooms – and we lost it because we were all in our separate places. He wanted it that way.  Dave and Nick and I didn’t want it that way.  He’d travel in his own car to the gig, different hotels from anyone else.  He created the isolation."

I think this points more to a theory that Rick, putting it bluntly, was trying to deny that he was actually leaving the band, and whilst money is always a motivator and can't be completely forgotten in a conversation, I feel like putting it as the sole motivation is rather reductive in this context.

Again, would like to see some evidence from the other side of the argument - any source to me is interesting enough to look at!!
Kerry King
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by Kerry King »

layne1 wrote: Fri Oct 29, 2021 8:59 am think this points more to a theory that Rick, putting it bluntly, was trying to deny that he was actually leaving the band, and whilst money is always a motivator and can't be completely forgotten in a conversation, I feel like putting it as the sole motivation is rather reductive in this context.
I agree that money was certainly not the sole motivation. It must have been painful to lose a job in Pink Floyd. I believe he wanted to remain in the band but also wanted the dynamic to change. It couldn't have been much fun with Waters turning into a dictator. The prospect of being a solo artist or finding other work probably kind of sucked, too. After Pink Floyd it would be a significant step down in terms of popularity/income. With his lifestyle/expenses it was likely a stressful situation all the way around.
layne1
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by layne1 »

Exactly what im sayin!
layne1
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by layne1 »

Also a more general point: I don't think we've yet all touched upon something I think is really important in this specific convo: Rick was severely mistreated during the album production of The Wall, I think.

There's an interview with Bob Ezrin on rickwright.com and he explains it generally like this (paraphrasing, of course); "Rick came into the studio rather confident at first, and then got some harsh criticism by Roger, and then he would feel not-so-great about himself, and then the cycle would repeat until eventually he didn't feel comfortable playing anymore." Which is just, fucking someone up for no reason other than to fuck someone up!!

And if there's any doubt about how mean Roger was actually being, and I know there would be if I didn't bring this up (trust me, there was like a 46 page forum thread about this exact question on a different forum and like 30 of those pages were back and forth of the same arguments over and over again) I would like to bring attention to this excerpt from Ginger Gilmour's memoir;

"I remember when each of them had been gifted Cartier watches. Later, we were all sitting by the pool, having lunch at Roger’s house in the South of France, while the band was there to record The Wall. Some of us rented a home while the Floyd recorded their next creative cycle for the album.  Roger was in one of his moods, and he asked if he could look at Rick’s watch. As Roger was holding it in his hand, he leaned over the pool and dropped it in the water.  Rick said nothing. Roger’s expression on his face was one of silent satisfaction. He had won that round."

There is 0 reason to do this, and to be quite honest I don't even know why Roger would do this, or what his internal thoughts were to be like this, but this proves to me that it wasn't just about the band's financial situation; in part, at least, there was definitely a lot of hatred going on. Fun times for the Floyd!
layne1
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by layne1 »

Jesus christ that was a long post, woops (disappears for another 3 months)
ZiggyZipgun
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

Kerry King wrote: Fri Oct 29, 2021 6:13 pmI agree that money was certainly not the sole motivation. It must have been painful to lose a job in Pink Floyd. I believe he wanted to remain in the band but also wanted the dynamic to change. It couldn't have been much fun with Waters turning into a dictator. The prospect of being a solo artist or finding other work probably kind of sucked, too. After Pink Floyd it would be a significant step down in terms of popularity/income. With his lifestyle/expenses it was likely a stressful situation all the way around.
His lifestyle and finances really weren't affected. Up until 1974, the band had grown into a large extended family that frequently vacationed together in France, Spain, and Greece, but after that point they each owned houses in those places but rarely spent any time together. Wright kept all of his houses for the rest of his life, since he could travel to each of them by boat. Being cut out of the band wouldn't have changed things much, because they all became more private and had been slowly shedding that extended family of childhood friends, roadies, and other hangers-on for years. He wasn't particularly happy with the band after Dark Side of the Moon became successful, because he thought they could do a lot more, both together and apart; he certainly didn't expect the rest of the band to keep going along with Roger's ideas, and thought those should be solo projects. They were all free to retire on the money that would keep rolling in, and they became stagnant - Wish You Were Here took a surprisingly large amount of effort to sit down together and make something; Animals required surprisingly little to throw something together, get the miserable tour over with, and go the hell home. Both Gilmour and Wright expected to return to songwriting roles within the band after completing their first solo albums, but...shit happens. Roger's direction for the band as a whole was worse than Syd's idea of recruiting two female saxophonists and becoming the group's lead banjo player. It couldn't work and it didn't.
Kerry King
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by Kerry King »

ZiggyZipgun wrote: Sun Oct 31, 2021 9:24 am
Kerry King wrote: Fri Oct 29, 2021 6:13 pmI agree that money was certainly not the sole motivation. It must have been painful to lose a job in Pink Floyd. I believe he wanted to remain in the band but also wanted the dynamic to change. It couldn't have been much fun with Waters turning into a dictator. The prospect of being a solo artist or finding other work probably kind of sucked, too. After Pink Floyd it would be a significant step down in terms of popularity/income. With his lifestyle/expenses it was likely a stressful situation all the way around.
His lifestyle and finances really weren't affected. Up until 1974, the band had grown into a large extended family that frequently vacationed together in France, Spain, and Greece, but after that point they each owned houses in those places but rarely spent any time together. Wright kept all of his houses for the rest of his life, since he could travel to each of them by boat. Being cut out of the band wouldn't have changed things much, because they all became more private and had been slowly shedding that extended family of childhood friends, roadies, and other hangers-on for years. He wasn't particularly happy with the band after Dark Side of the Moon became successful, because he thought they could do a lot more, both together and apart; he certainly didn't expect the rest of the band to keep going along with Roger's ideas, and thought those should be solo projects. They were all free to retire on the money that would keep rolling in, and they became stagnant - Wish You Were Here took a surprisingly large amount of effort to sit down together and make something; Animals required surprisingly little to throw something together, get the miserable tour over with, and go the hell home. Both Gilmour and Wright expected to return to songwriting roles within the band after completing their first solo albums, but...shit happens. Roger's direction for the band as a whole was worse than Syd's idea of recruiting two female saxophonists and becoming the group's lead banjo player. It couldn't work and it didn't.
Do you suppose Wright was getting lab quality cocaine, or was he settling for Last Waltz quality coke which was described by Ronnie Hawkins as having enough flour and sugar in it to make you sneeze biscuits for three months?
ZiggyZipgun
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

I'm sure that the royalties from Dark Side of the Moon alone, from the time it was released until he left the group in '81, would be more than enough to support him and his habits for the rest of his life. Couple that with the NWG lawsuit settlement that same year, and the fact that he didn't lose money on the Wall tour, I'd say his kids were officially "old money" from then on.
Kerry King
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by Kerry King »

Of course...bad investments can sink anyone. How many times has Mick Fleetwood declared bankruptcy? Maybe more songwriting credits on Rumors would have helped.
ZiggyZipgun
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Re: Richard Wright - Fired During Recording The Wall Album

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

And Roger Waters was a particularly bad investment.