Friday, September 19, 2008

Pink Floyd's Nick Mason on former bandmate Richard Wright (R.I.P.) | PopWatch Blog |


Pink Floyd's Nick Mason on former bandmate Richard Wright (R.I.P.)

Sep 18, 2008, 03:27 PM | by Clark Collis

Categories: In Memoriam, Music

Although he tended to be overshadowed by bandmates Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters, Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, who died on Monday following a battle with cancer, was a vital part of the group's sonic explorations. He also co-wrote several of the Floyd’s strongest songs, including “Us & Them,” from 1973's Dark Side Of The Moon. The day after Wright’s death, EW talked to Floyd drummer Nick Mason about his colleague and friend of more than 40 years.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How important was Rick to Pink Floyd?
NICK MASON: The reality is, like any band, you can never quite quantify who does what. But Pink Floyd wouldn’t have been Pink Floyd if [we] hadn’t had Rick. I think there’s a feeling now -- particularly after all the warfare that went on with Roger and David trying to make clear what their contribution was -- that perhaps Rick rather got pushed into the background. Because the sound of Pink Floyd is more than the guitar, bass, and drum thing. Rick was the sound that knitted it all together.

More on Wright's musical style, and what he was like on a personal level, after the jump...

That seems to have been particularly true in the band’s early, musically adventurous, days.
Yeah. He had a very special style. He probably did more than I did in terms of not worrying too much about tempo, to the point where eventually we did produce arrhythmic pieces. That was, I think, probably rather ground-breaking in 1967.

What was he like on a personal level?
[Laughs] he was very like...Rick! Really. He was by far the quietest of the band, right from day one. And, I think, probably harder to get to know than the rest of us. But after 40 years, we probably felt we did know him quite well. We were just beginning to make inroads, perhaps.

Would this be an example of the British stiff upper lip at work?
Well, we did talk to each other. But we spent an awful lot of time sort of teasing each other, really, and winding each other up. It’s that curious thing. You form a gang. And so, to the outside world, you mount a united front. But four guys in a car, you spend an awful lot of time arguing and bickering and not being very creative.

Do you have a particularly fond memory of Rick?
I have to say that I think a number of our memories have to do with the ways that we all dealt with money. The first meeting with Roger I wouldn’t lend him my car and Rick wouldn’t give him a cigarette. And really we just carried on exactly like that for the next 40 years.

And Roger’s been punishing you ever since.

Yeah, absolutely. But he’s beginning to get over it we think.

Can you remember the first time you met Rick?
Well, it was '62 because we were all (studying) architecture together. He looked like an architect but he had no interest in architecture whatsoever, and within months, as far as I remember, he was off to music college, which is exactly where he should have gone in the first place.

What was he like back then?
Exactly the same. Of course, with the people you really know, no one changes that much. Roger was a rather sort of forbidding presence in 1962 and he hasn’t changed at all. He’s just got a bit more grizzled. And Rick was the quiet one then, as it was throughout.

He also wrote a fair amount of songs for the Floyd.
Something like "Us And Them" was absolutely a Rick piece. It’s almost that George Harrison thing. You sort of forget that they did a lot more than perhaps they’re given credit for.

Well, you have our condolences and sorry to bother you at a time like this.
No, it’s absolutely fine. I’d rather talk about him, I think, than not.

For more on Richard Wright and Pink Floyd, check out our remembrance of Wright, coverage of Roger Waters at Coachella this past spring, a review of Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey and of the 1995 music documentary Pulse.

Photo Credit: AP

Pink Floyd's Nick Mason on former bandmate Richard Wright (R.I.P.) | PopWatch Blog |

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Press Association: Gilmour tribute to 'magical' Wright


Gilmour tribute to 'magical' Wright

19 hours ago

Pink Floyd songwriter, vocalist and guitarist David Gilmour has paid tribute to the band's founding member Richard Wright, who died aged 65.

Gilmour said: "No one can replace Richard Wright. He was my musical partner and my friend.

"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."

He continued: "I have never played with anyone quite like him. The blend of his and my voices and our musical telepathy reached their first major flowering in 1971 on Echoes.

"In my view all the greatest PF moments are the ones where he is in full flow. 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?

"Without his quiet touch the Album Wish You Were Here would not quite have worked.

"In our middle years, for many reasons he lost his way for a while, but in the early 90s, with The Division Bell, his vitality, spark and humour returned to him and then the audience reaction to his appearances on my tour in 2006 was hugely uplifting and it's a mark of his modesty that those standing ovations came as a huge surprise to him, (though not to the rest of us).

"Like Rick, I don't find it easy to express my feelings in words, but I loved him and will miss him enormously."

The Press Association: Gilmour tribute to 'magical' Wright

Pink Floyd Rick has gone to the Great Gig in the Sky | The Sun |News


Psychedelic ... Pink Floyd’s early days in 1967

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In the Pink ... (from left) David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright at Live 8 in 2005

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Pink Floyd Rick has gone to the Great Gig in the Sky | The Sun |News

Monday, September 15, 2008

Richard Wright dies at 65; founding member of Pink Floyd - Los Angeles Times


Richard Wright dies at 65; founding member of Pink Floyd

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Waters, Gilmour, Wright and drummer Nick Mason performed live together for the first time in 24 years at the 2005 Live 8 benefit concert in London's Hyde Park.

Richard Wright dies at 65; founding member of Pink Floyd - Los Angeles Times

Pink Floyd founder member Richard Wright dies at 65 - News, Music - The Independent


Pink Floyd founder member Richard Wright dies at 65

By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter
Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Richard Wright: met Roger Waters and drummer Nick Mason while studying at the Regent Street College of Architecture

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Richard Wright, the self-taught pianist and founding member of Pink Floyd whose keyboard playing and compositions were at the heart of the band's classic albums, has died from cancer.

The 65-year-old musician, originally considered the leading musical force in the band before leaving after falling out with the singer and bassist Roger Waters, was diagnosed recently with the disease and died after a short illness, according to his spokesman.

His death came just days after David Gilmour, the band's lead guitarist, declared that a one-off reunion by the group at the Live 8 concert in 2005 was the last time he would play with the band.

Wright wrote two songs on the 1973 concept album The Dark Side of the Moon.

A spokesman for Wright, who had three children, declined to give further details about his illness. He said: "The family of Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd, announce with great sadness that Richard died today after a short struggle with cancer. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."

Wright helped found the group that eventually became Pink Floyd when he met Waters and drummer Nick Mason while studying at the Regent Street College of Architecture in the early 1960s. After several incarnations including Sigma 6, Pink Floyd started out as an R&B band but adopted an experimental approach when Syd Barrett, the singer and guitarist credited with creating their most psychedelic music, joined in 1964.

The keyboard player rejoined Pink Floyd in 1987 after a six-year hiatus, and also worked on a number of solo projects and collaborations with other musicians.

Pink Floyd songwriter, vocalist and guitarist David 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.

"I have never played with anyone quite like him."

Pink Floyd founder member Richard Wright dies at 65 - News, Music - The Independent

Gilmour says no Pink Floyd reunion - MUSIC-


Gilmour says no Pink Floyd reunion

‘I’ve been there, I’ve done it,’ says the rocker

Former British Pink Floyd band member David Gilmour has no plays to reunited the band. He's having far too much fun on his own. But, if you go see him live, he will break out a Floyd tune.

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updated 3:34 p.m. CT, Tues., Sept. 9, 2008

LONDON - David Gilmour is sorry to disappoint, but there will be no Pink Floyd reunion. He’s having too much fun on his own.

The British rock icon raised fans’ hopes when the band performed at the Live 8 charity concert in London in 2005. It was the first time in almost a quarter of a century that Gilmour and estranged bandmate Roger Waters had appeared onstage together, and the atmosphere was electric.

But once was enough, Gilmour says.

Story continues below ↓


The gig itself was “excellent, really enjoyable,” said the 62-year-old guitarist and singer.

“The rehearsals were less enjoyable. The rehearsals convinced me it wasn’t something I wanted to be doing a lot of,” Gilmour said, speaking from the Astoria, his houseboat-cum-recording studio on the River Thames.

He has a famously testy relationship with bassist and singer Waters, who walked away from Pink Floyd in 1985.

“There have been all sorts of farewell moments in people’s lives and careers which they have then rescinded, but I think I can fairly categorically say that there won’t be a tour or an album again that I take part in,” said Gilmour.

“It isn’t to do with animosity or anything like that. It’s just that I’ve done that. I’ve been there, I’ve done it.”

Still happy to play Floyd songs
Gilmour’s latest project is a solo album and tour, captured on “David Gilmour Live in Gdansk,” a double concert album and DVD to be released Sept. 23 on Columbia Records.

Recorded during the final date of Gilmour’s 2006 “On An Island” tour, it’s as meaty a package as you’d expect from a prog-rock colossus.

There’s the concert’s monumental backdrop of the Polish shipyards where the trade union Solidarity was founded in 1980. There’s a crackerjack band that includes Pink Floyd keyboard player Richard Wright and Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera. And there’s a 40-piece string section from the Baltic Philharmonic Symphony to enhance Gilmour’s blend of classic rock, jazz and blues influences.

The discs include a fan-friendly mix of solo material, much of it from the “On An Island” album, and venerable Floyd songs: “High Hopes,” “Comfortably Numb,” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and the 25-minute “Echoes,” which Gilmour said was “the highlight of the show.”

“It’s wonderful to have that huge catalog of songs to pick and choose through. We were doing songs I’ve never done. There are several that haven’t been played for 30-odd years. And some real old favorites.”

Gilmour says he’s happy these days to play the old Floyd songs.

“I don’t like the idea of going out without a new album, without some new music to play,” he said. “But people have come long distances and paid a lot of money to see a show. I want to give them a bit of what they expect and will enjoy.”

Finding inspiration in Poland
Gilmour didn’t originally intend the album to be a record of a single show. He had recorded every night of the tour, but found “a lot of the tracks that seemed to be the best ones were coming from this show in Gdansk.”

The concert was organized to mark the 26th birthday of Solidarity, the union that rose from the docks of Gdansk to topple Poland’s Communist regime, and drew 50,000 fans.

“It had a special resonance to it. The place, this sort of rather derelict shipyard, was really exciting. It was the last show of our whole tour,” Gilmour said. “And there were also about 10 times as many people as we’d played to on any of the other dates on the tour.”

The album — like most of Gilmour’s work for the last two decades — was mixed and assembled aboard the Astoria, moored along a tranquil stretch of the River Thames near London.

The boat was built a century ago, at the then-enormous cost of 20,000 pounds, for Fred Karno, a music-hall impresario whose proteges included the young Charlie Chaplin. Gilmour bought it in 1986, seduced by the Edwardian elegance of its mahogany-paneled cabins, marble bathrooms and mother-of-pearl light switches.

“I hadn’t really thought about using it as a studio,” he said, looking around the tiny musicians’ room, crammed with drum kit and guitars. “It was just too beautiful to miss out on.”

He soon began to use it as a music-making base. The post-Waters Pink Floyd albums “The Division Bell” and “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” were recorded here, as were Gilmour’s solo albums, including “On An Island.”

The vessel’s cramped cabins are packed with high-end recording equipment and assorted instruments, including the black Fender Stratocaster that has been Gilmour’s stalwart guitar since 1970.

You know you're a rock star when...
Fender has just produced a signature guitar in his honor, the David Gilmour Black Strat. It’s one of those things — like a floating recording studio — that you get when you’re a rock legend.

Gilmour notes drily that there are two versions of the guitar. One has all the same knicks and bashes as Gilmour’s own — “the distressed jeans model.” Then there’s a pristine instrument buyers will have to bash up themselves.

“Which will cost less,” Gilmour said. “Because it’s more work distressing it.”

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Casual in jeans, black T-shirt and jacket, the gray-haired Gilmour is a low-key rock star, who seems to relish his role as family man — he has eight children from his two marriages.

He says he plans to make a new album, but for now he’s content to take it easy.

“I think if you are going to get on in this career or any other career you’ve got to be fairly ruthless while you’re climbing up to the to the point in the career you want to get to,” he said. “That moment is long past for me. I don’t have to scramble over the bodies to reach the top anymore.”

He says music is “one of the important things in my life, but it’s not the only thing. My family are more important. If I had to give one up, I wouldn’t be giving my family up.”

Gilmour says no Pink Floyd reunion - MUSIC-

Friday, September 5, 2008

Internet's 'Next Generation' On Display In Beijing - IT Olympics Blog - InformationWeek


Internet's 'Next Generation' On Display In Beijing

Posted by Bob Violino, Sep 5, 2008 09:16 AM

Some of the latest computing and networking technologies were on display or in use during the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer, and IPv6, the so-called "next generation" Internet Protocol, was one of them.

IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force to slowly replace the current IPv4, with the two protocols coexisting during a transition period of several years. Among the potential benefits of the newer protocol are a substantial increase in the number of IP addresses available for devices such as mobile phones, and easier administration of networks.

The official Web site of the Beijing Games ( upgraded to IPv6 in May, well in advance of the start of the Olympics. This marked the first time that an Olympics Web site had been developed using high-speed IPv6 technology, according to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

The Web site was jointly designed by BOCOG, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) and, a Chinese online media, communications, and mobile services company. It provided faster and more secure services for users worldwide, the organizing committee says, thanks to an additional 12 servers that were deployed at Tsinghua University, where CERNET's national network center is located.

Olympics officials say the new technology was expected to help alleviate traffic pressures on the current servers in use by diverting part of the traffic from international visitors to IPv6 servers.

BOCOG says China has built the largest "pure IPv6 system," called CNGI (China Next Generation Internet)-CERNET2, which links 25 network nodes in 20 major cities around the country. The development of the Olympics Web site under the framework of CNGI-CERNET2 will play a key role in promoting China's native IPv6 backbone to the world, the organizing committee says.

The CNGI project is a five-year plan launched by the Chinese government to give the nation an early entry into using the technology to promote and implement IPv6.

In addition to the Web site, IPv6 played other roles during the Olympics, such as providing the network technology for such applications as security cameras, lighting in Olympics venues, video streaming, and high-definition TV.

Internet's 'Next Generation' On Display In Beijing - IT Olympics Blog - InformationWeek

Pink Floyd - The Wall (Live)


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Monday, September 1, 2008



Trainspotting (1996)

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California Poppy 25X Resin Extract

California Poppy has the reputation of being a non-addictive alternative to the opium poppy, though it is less powerful. California poppy is a traditional mild, relaxing smoke – but not that mild – do not drive after use.

Trainspotting has evoked so much debate about illicit drug abuse that it has achieved a cult following all over the US and UK. The film addresses the problem of heroin addiction, considering both the users' and the anti-drug sides of the issue. It has the power to shock, terrify and disgust audiences one moment and make them burst with laughter the next. Such a film is a rarity; the last film that accomplished this had to be Pulp Fiction (1994). Though not nearly as successful or popular as Quentin Tarantino’s film, Trainspotting still belongs to the same genre: a representation of hyperkinetic subcultures. Pulp Fiction gave us gangsters and con-artists; Trainspotting gives us drug addicts.
    There really isn’t a plot here. The story simply follows the daily lives of a small group of young Scots in Edinburgh who have one thing in common, their shared loved for one of the world's most dangerous drugs. Renton (Ewan McGregor) wants to quit heroin but can't. His thoughts guide the film in voiceovers: "Take the best orgasm you ever had, multiply it by a thousand and you're still nowhere near it."  He also gives a shopping list of reasons for not quitting, mostly relating to the domesticated, mundane life that non-addicts live. Such an existence is not for Renton. He'd rather be addicted and not have to worry about food, bills, girlfriends or "choosing life."
     Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) is another case entirely. Being on heroin is his excuse for acting in a criminal manner, stealing money, books, television sets. Sick Boy also justifies life with his hilarious "unifying theory" that everything relates in some way to the career of Sean Connery. Sick Boy has no morals either. He even steals Renton's television and has the gall to ask about Renton's passport and how much money he could get for it on the black market.
    Rounding out this motley club are several others. Begbie (Robert Carlyle) has a psychopathic bent that erupts in abrupt violent acts. He would never stoop to shooting smack but he'll drink until his eyeballs float. Spud (Ewan Bremner) is a goofy, gangly guy who takes speed before a job interview to insure that his behavior will not get him hired. Tommy (Kevin McKidd) is the only straightlaced member of the troupe who doesn't do drugs, lie or steal but eventually succumbs to the needle when his girlfriend dumps him and his friends refuse to sympathize with his problems. The scene where he tries to get his friends to go on a nature hike is especially funny. Sick Boy tells Tommy that he shouldn't take his frustrations out on his friends and Renton spouts a long diatribe on the liabilities of being Scottish. All these characters are in essence different sides of Renton's personality.
    While Trainspotting neither condemns nor condones heroin use, it’s anti-heroin scenes are more effective than any Reagan-era "Just Say No" advertisements. The imagery that director Danny Boyle uses to convey the sense of dread and hopelessness surrounding Renton's prolonged heroin abuse is amazingly realistic. Renton swears off heroin cold turkey but dives into a filthy toilet ("The Worst Toilet in Scotland") to retrieve his "final hit," a pair of opium suppositories. The underwater world of the plumbing suggests a serene hallucination, accented perfectly by Brian Eno's "Deep Blue Day."
    After promising his parents and a judge that he will quit, Renton takes a particularly strong hit and literally sinks into the floor. The red carpet envelopes his body and he remains there until an EMT gives him an adrenaline shot at the hospital. Again, music is important here; "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed plays softly. When his parents lock him in his room to dry out, his withdrawal is a hideous amalgam of hallucinations, cold sweats, craving and finally, screaming. The scene is terrifying. The film portrays the far more vividly the negative side of addiction than it does the claimed positive aspects.
Trainspotting was based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, who has a bit part in the film as a drug connection. Though the novel is much denser and certainly more detailed than the film, the script captures the essence of the book. Irvine's semi-autobiographical novel was wildly popular in Britain for three years prior to the film's release. The film went on to become one of Britain's most popular films and a cult hit in the US. The soundtrack includes some of Britain's hottest musical talents, including a few songs by Iggy Pop, whose drum-driven "Lust for Life" pounds over the film's opening scenes.
    Performances by the leads are excellent. As Renton, McGregor gives the character a ghostly sort of appearance and a comic demeanor that is perfectly in sync with the character in the novel. Miller is also good as Sick Boy, a man who sees the humorous side of life but hides a deeper menace, both to himself and his friends. Bremner is outlandishly funny, but he still invests Spud with a deeper sensitivity that makes the audience feel pity for him. As the psychotic Begbie, Carlyle is eons away from Gaz, the character he later played  in The Full Monty.
                                                                                        - Tom Trinchera


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