Say It's Your Birthday: Pink Floyd's Rick Wright

Today is the birthday of Rick Wright,

keyboardist for Pink Floyd, born on this

day in 1945. From it's inception in 1965, Pink Floyd was on the cutting edge

of psychedelic rock experimentalism, using feedback, sound effects, light

shows, unorthodox lyrical themes and spacey productions, and were always

considered ahead of their time. They still retain that title, and have

legions of devoted fans who breathed a collective sigh of relief when the

band reformed in 1987, after breaking up four years earlier. The band was

named by Syd Barrett, inspired by the Georgia bluesmen Pink Anderson and

Floyd Council, despite the fact that Pink Floyd could never be accused of

playing anything resembling the blues. Barretts's trippy songwriting on their

debut album Piper at the Gates of Dawn set Pink Floyd apart from most

other bands of the time. Barrett however left the band due to psychological

deterioration, encouraged by drug abuse, leaving bassist Roger Waters to take

over the songwriting duties. Guitarist Dave Gilmour began putting his two

cents in, and contributed songs on The Wall, which gave him a higher

profile in the band, but also created new tensions that led to an acrimonious

split up in 1983, with the members pursuing various solo projects with

varying degrees of success.

In 1987, Gilmour reformed Pink Floyd with drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist;

Rick Wright, releasing A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, which set off a

flurry of lawsuits between Waters and the band over the ownership of the

name. While the album lacked the thematic bite of Water's best work, it

nevertheless became a worldwide hit. Now eight years after their triumphant

comeback, Pink Floyd is still going strong. It is also the birthday of Tex

Axile (Transvision Vamp), Simone Kirke (Bad Company), Rachel Sweet, and Gregg

Guiffria (Angel).