Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 14:57 UK

Gilmour's tribute to Floyd star

Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Syd Barrett and Richard Wright
Gilmour said Wright (right) was "gentle, unassuming and private"

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has praised late bandmate Richard Wright for his "vitality, spark and humour".

Writing on his website, Gilmour said he had "never played with anyone quite like" the keyboardist, who has died from cancer at the age of 65.

"In my view, all the greatest Pink Floyd moments are the ones where he is in full flow," Gilmour added.

He hailed Wright for his songwriting talent, including on two tracks from 1973's Dark Side of the Moon album.

Gilmour joined the band in 1968 - a year after the group's first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick's enormous input was frequently forgotten
David Gilmour

"No-one can replace Richard Wright - he was my musical partner and my friend," Gilmour said.

"In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick's enormous input was frequently forgotten.

"He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognised Pink Floyd sound."

Gilmour said the blend of his and Wright's voices, together with their "musical telepathy, reached their first major flowering" on 1971 track Echoes, which took up the whole of the second side of album Meddle.

Gilmour, Waters, Mason and Wright in 2005
The band performed together at Live 8 in 2005 for the first time in 24 years

Released in 1973, The Dark Side of the Moon went on to become one of the best-selling and most influential albums in rock history.

Wright helped write much of the album, but was responsible for two songs in particular, Gilmour said.

He added: "After all, without Us and Them, and The Great Gig in the Sky - both of which he wrote - what would The Dark Side Of The Moon have been?"

Gilmour has now pulled out of the premiere of a concert film, David Gilmour Live In Gdansk, in London on Tuesday.

But the guitarist has asked for the event to go ahead without him in memory of Wright, his spokesman said.

Joe Boyd, who produced the band's early records, said Wright's keyboards were "an integral part of the Pink Floyd sound".

"He was a very nice and easy going person," he said. "It's very sad to hear of his untimely passing."

'Influential musician'

Neil Portnow, president of The Recording Academy, which organises the Grammy Awards in the US, added his tribute.

"Richard Wright was an exceptional instrumentalist, whose distinctive keyboard style was essential to the musicality of this world-renowned band," he said.

"He also scored films and recorded his own instrumental compositions and solo albums.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and fans at this difficult time, as we remember this influential musician."

The group played at the Live 8 event in Hyde Park in London in 2005, when Roger Waters rejoined his bandmates for a one-off, more than two decades after they fell out.

The four musicians all also played at a tribute concert for Syd Barrett in 2007, with Waters playing a solo set and Wright, Gilmour and Nick Mason making a separate appearance.

Wright's death was announced in a statement by his spokesman on Monday.

The spokesman said Wright died after "a short struggle with cancer" but declined to give further details.


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