In sombre news for music lovers around the world, legendary singer and songwriter Gary Wright, best known for his chart-topping hit Dream Weaver, has passed away at the age of 80.
Wright’s son, Justin, announced his father’s passing to TMZ, telling the publication he passed away on Monday, September 6 at his home in California. Wright had reportedly been diagnosed with Parkinson’s several years ago, as well as Lewy body dementia shortly after.
Born April 26, 1943, in New Jersey, Wright’s musical journey began in the vibrant and tumultuous 1960s after making the bold decision to pursue his passion for music in London and abandon his plans of becoming a doctor.
During his time in London, Wright played a pivotal role in establishing Spooky Tooth as a formidable live act. Notably, he served as the band’s primary songwriter for acclaimed albums such as Spooky Two (1969) and You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw (1973).
Wright’s keyboard artistry was featured on George Harrison’s iconic triple album, All Things Must Pass in 1970, marking the start of a profound friendship that infused Indian religious themes and spirituality into Wright’s subsequent songwriting.
In 1971, Wright’s solo album, Footprint recorded with contributions from Harrison, coincided with the birth of his short-lived band, Wonderwheel, featuring guitarist Mick Jones, later known for his work with Foreigner.
Simultaneously, Wright lent his musical talents to prominent recordings by luminaries like B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, and Ronnie Spector, cementing his reputation as a sought-after collaborator. His creative partnership with Harrison endured until shortly before Harrison’s passing in 2001.
While Wright found considerable success collaborating with other artists, it was as a solo artist that he truly shone. His 1975 album The Dream Weaver catapulted him to international stardom. The album’s title track, Dream Weaver, became an instant classic, topping the Billboard charts and earning platinum status.
In the 1980s, Wright ventured into film soundtrack composition, even re-recording his signature hit, Dream Weaver, for the 1992 comedy Wayne’s World. After Spooky Tooth’s reunion tour in 2004, Wright maintained an active live performance schedule, either as part of Starr’s All-Starr Band, with his own live ensemble, or in subsequent Spooky Tooth reunions.
In 2014, Wright penned his autobiography, Dream Weaver: Music, Meditation, and My Friendship with George Harrison.
As news of Wright’s passing swept across the globe, fans came together, sharing cherished memories of his music.
R.I.P. GARY WRIGHT!???????????? pic.twitter.com/Ps01XXTGP8
— MAGAROD (@RodFair41) September 5, 2023
Rest in peace Gary Wright. pic.twitter.com/pWBBnFsn5l
— Brian Roemmele (@BrianRoemmele) September 5, 2023
RIP Gary Wright.
80 years young.
“Dream Weaver” and “Love is Alive” will always be favourites. pic.twitter.com/Nmp3jlUaaQ
— Rob Thomas (@RobotThomas) September 4, 2023
— Deborah Abbott The Rabbit (@deborahaabbott) September 5, 2023
If you’re of a certain generation, “Dream Weaver” might be the greatest one hit wonder ever in pop music.
An ethereal trip to the astral plane, riding the haunting tenor of Gary Wright. Hope there’s someone to meet you on the other side. RIP. pic.twitter.com/kdZB6gZ2CI
— Tom Harrington (@cbctom) September 5, 2023
People knew Gary Wright mainly bc of The Dream Weaver but he had a pretty successful solo career and was also a member of Spooky Tooth for a few yrs. Always felt Tooth should’ve been bigger. Last Puff had many fine tracks but this remains my fav LP. No filler. A good listen. RIP. pic.twitter.com/7zQZ1hP38b
— Turn It Up To 11 (@turnitup211off) September 5, 2023
Rest In Peace, Gary Wright.
A pioneer of the synthesizer, he composed several hits.
First one of my heroes Jimmy Buffett, then Steve Harwell, and now Gary Wright. I don’t know how much more heartbreak I can take. Please stop taking legends, 2023. Just please stop. #GaryWright pic.twitter.com/fLThbNcLFM
— Dylan Slemp ???? (@elongatedbean) September 4, 2023