Watch Richard Wright’s Final Performance With Pink Floyd
The band’s co-founding keyboardist died at age 65 on this date in 2008.
On May 10, 2007, a concert was held at The Barbican in London in honor of Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett, who died in 2006 at age 60. Billed as “The Madcap’s Last Laugh,” the all-star concert ended up being the final Pink Floyd performance with co-founding keyboardist Richard Wright, who died at age 65 on this date in 2008.
Wright co-founded Pink Floyd with Barrett, bassist Roger Waters and drummer Nick Mason in 1965. Barrett exited in 1968 and guitarist David Gilmour continued with the band. Friction between Wright and Waters led to Wright leaving the group in 1981. Additional tensions resulted in Waters’ exit in 1985.
Soon after, Wright was back in the Pink Floyd fold. By the mid-1990s Wright was again a full-time member of the band, alongside Gilmour and Mason. Wright, Waters, Gilmour and Mason’s final performance together was a one-off reunion for the 2005 Live 8 charity concert event.
The final time Gilmour, Mason and Wright shared the stage together was at The Madcap’s Last Laugh concert. The event produced by Nick Laird-Clowes and Joe Boyd presented an all-star lineup of performers paying tribute to Barrett, including Robyn Hitchcock, Chrissie Hynde, Martha Wainwright, Kate McGarrigle, Lily Lanken, Damon Albarn, Kate St. John, David Coulter and others. Also on the lineup was Roger Waters, who played a solo set but did not appear with the other members of Pink Floyd (Waters, Gilmour and Mason would share the stage together in 2011).
The concert for Barrett ended with Wright, Gilmour and Mason, along with keyboardist Jon Carin and Oasis bassist Andy Bell, performing the early Pink Floyd favorite “Arnold Layne.” Written by Barrett and released by Pink Floyd in 1967, “Arnold Layne” was rarely played live, with no known performances by the band between 1967 and when it was played at the Barbican. The song was part of setlists of Gilmour’s 2006 solo tour that included Wright as part of his solo band.
Featuring Wright’s lead vocals and superb organ work, watch the Pink Floyd co-founder’s final performance with his bandmates David Gilmour and Nick Mason below: