Gary Wright, the former keyboardist/singer of Spooky Tooth, who went on to solo fame, has died at the age of 80, according to The Daily Mail. Wright’s son, Justin Wright, apparently told the celebrity gossip website TMZ that Gary died Monday morning. Reportedly, he passed at his home in Palos Verdes Estates in California. They report that “he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 5 or 6 years ago, as well as Lewy body dementia shortly thereafter.”
Stephen Bishop Pays Tribute
Singer/songwriter Stephen Bishop (“On and On,” “Save It For A Rainy Day”) confirmed the news on his X account. He wrote, “It is with great sadness that I received the news of my dear friend Gary Wright’s passing. The attached photos hold precious memories from the very first and last time we shared the stage together, alongside our mutual musical pal John Ford Coley. Gary’s vibrant personality and exceptional talent made every moment together truly enjoyable. His legacy will live on for many years to come. I will always cherish the warmth and kindness shown to me by Gary and his wife Rose, and I will forever hold dear the stories he shared with me about days gone by. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.”
It is with great sadness that I received the news of my dear friend Gary Wright's passing. The attached photos hold precious memories from the very first and last time we shared the stage together, alongside our mutual musical pal John Ford Coley. Gary's vibrant personality and… pic.twitter.com/r7bwnIhKME— Stephen Bishop (@BishSongs) September 4, 2023
An X account dedicated to singer/songwriter Al Stewart (“Year of the Cat,” “Time Passages”) posted, “Rest in peace, Gary Wright. Al and Gary were friends for a long time, and it was Gary who introduced Al to his touring band, The Empty Pockets. Al and Jill Stewart would like to send their condolences to Gary’s wife, Rose, and his family.”
Gary’s history with George and Ringo
A good friend of George Harrison, Wright played keyboards on Harrison’s classic 1970 album All Things Must Pass. He went on to play on most of Harrison’s solo albums, including his big comeback, Cloud Nine. He also played on Ringo Starr’s 1971 classic “It Don’t Come Easy,” and later toured with Ringo with his All-Starr Band in 2008.
But he’ll always be remembered for his biggest solo hit, “Dream Weaver.” A re-recorded version of the song was used in a scene in the classic 1992 stoner flick, Wayne’s World. The original version of the song was from the Dream Weaver album, which was recorded using mostly keyboards and synthesizers, a rarity at the time. Wright, Davdi Foster and Bobby Lyle all played keyboards and synthesizers on that record. The album also included another one of his biggest hits, “Love Is Alive.”