Richard Wright, the keyboard player for progressive Rock Band Pink Floyd sadly passed away on 15th September 2008. He was born 28 July 1943. Pink Floyd were founded in 1965 and originally consisted of students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett. They first became popular playing in London’s underground music scene in the late 1960s. Under Barrett’s leadership they released two charting singles, “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play”, and a successful début album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn .In 1968 Syd Barratt departed from the group due to his deteriorating mental health & Gilmour joined Pink Floyd as the fifth member several months prior to this. Following the loss of their principal songwriter, Pink Floyd bassist and vocalist Roger Waters became the band’s lyricist and conceptual leader, with Gilmour assuming lead guitar, taking on most of the band’s music composition, and sharing lead vocals. With this line-up Pink Floyd achieved worldwide critical and commercial success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music, which used philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. and release of many concept albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.
Pink Floyd ranked number 51 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, with David Gilmour ranking 14th in the greatest guitarists list. Largely due to the success of their albums the band was ranked No. 3 in Colin Larkin’s the ‘Top 50 Artists Of All Time’. Numerous artists have been influenced by Pink Floyd’s work: David Bowie has called Syd Barrett a major inspiration, The Edge (U2) also bought his first delay pedal after hearing the opening to Animals; and the Pet Shop Boys paid homage to The Wall during a performance in Boston; Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery has also cited Wish You Were Here as a major inspiration; and many other bands, including the Foo Fighters, Dream Theater, My Chemical Romance, Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, The La’s, Queen, Oasis, Iron Maiden, Stone Temple Pilots, Coheed and Cambria, Tool, Queensryche, 30 Seconds to Mars, Scissor Sisters, Rush, Radiohead, Gorillaz, Mudvayne, Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Primus and the Smashing Pumpkins, have all been influenced by them.
Pink Floyd have also been nominated for and won multiple technical awards including “Best Engineered Non-Classical Album” Grammy in 1980 for The Wall and BAFTAs award for ‘Best Original Song’ (awarded to Waters) and ‘Best Sound’ in 1982 for the The Wall film. A Grammy came to them in 1995 for “Rock Instrumental Performance” on “Marooned”. In 2008 Pink Floyd were awarded the Polar Music Prize for their contribution to contemporary music; Waters and Mason accepted the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 17 January 1996, the UK Music Hall of Fame on 16 November 2005 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2010, and were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Richard Wright can be heard on the Pink Floyd album Endless River which includes music played by Richard Wright during the “Big Spliff” sessions following The Division Bell. Pink Floyd continue to enjoy worldwide success and are one of the most commercially successful and influential rock music groups of all time. Both Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters have also released many Solo albums including, “On an Island”, “Amused to Death”, Rattle that Lock”, “The Wall Live” and “is This the Life we Really Want?”
Johnny Ramone, Founder Member, guitarist and songwriter of the Ramones, sadly died 15 September 2004. The Ramones were Formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974, All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, though none of them were related. The original members of the band met in and around the middle-class neighborhood of Forest Hills in the New York City borough of Queens. John Cummings and Thomas Erdelyi had both been in a high-school garage band from 1966 to 1967 known as the Tangerine Puppets. They became friends with Douglas Colvin, who had recently moved to the area from Germany, and Jeffrey Hyman, who was the initial lead singer of the glam rock band Sniper, founded in 1972. The Ramones began taking shape in early 1974, when Cummings and Colvin invited Hyman to join them in a band.
The initial lineup featured Colvin on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Cummings on lead guitar, and Hyman on drums. Colvin, who soon switched from rhythm guitar to bass, was the first to adopt the name “Ramone”, calling himself Dee Dee Ramone. He was inspired by Paul McCartney’s use of the pseudonym Paul Ramon during his Silver Beatles days. Dee Dee convinced the other members to take on the name and came up with the idea of calling the band the Ramones. Hyman and Cummings became Joey and Johnny Ramone. A friend of the band, Monte A. Melnick (later their tour manager), helped to arrange rehearsal time for them at Manhattan’s Performance Studios, where he worked. Johnny’s former bandmate Erdelyi was set to become their manager. Soon after the band was formed, Dee Dee realized that he could not sing and play his bass guitar simultaneously; with Erdelyi’s encouragement, Joey became the band’s new lead singer. Dee Dee would continue, however, to count off each song’s tempo with his signature rapid-fire shout of “1-2-3-4!” Joey soon similarly realized that he could not sing and play drums simultaneously and left the position of drummer. While auditioning prospective replacements, Erdelyi would often take to the drums and demonstrate how to play the songs. It became apparent that he was able to perform the group’s music better than anyone else, and he joined the band as Tommy Ramone.
The Ramones played for the first time on March 30, 1974, at Performance Studios. The songs they played were very fast and very short; most clocked in at under two minutes. Around this time, a new music scene was emerging in New York centered around two clubs in downtown Manhattan—Max’s Kansas City and, more famously, CBGB (usually referred to as CBGB’s). The Ramones made their CBGB debut on August 16 and made quite an impact with their black leather jackets and wall of noise. Following this performance the band became regulars at the club, playing there seventy-four times by the end of the year. After garnering considerable attention for their performances—which averaged about seventeen minutes from beginning to end—the group was signed to a recording contract in late 1975 with Sire Records. Stein’s wife, Linda Stein later co-managed them along with Danny Fields. The Ramones were soon recognized as leaders of the new scene that was increasingly being referred to as “punk”. The group’s unusual frontman had a lot to do with their impact.
The Ramones recorded their debut album, Ramones, in April 1976. Of the fourteen songs on the album, the longest, “I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement”, barely surpassed two-and-a-half minutes. While the songwriting credits were shared by the entire band, Dee Dee was the primary writer. It was produced on an extremely low budget of about $6,400 and released in April. The now iconic front cover photograph of the band was taken by Roberta Bayley. It was greeted by rock critics with glowing reviews and was described as having an exhilarating intensity rock & roll has not experienced since its earliest days.” The Ramones were described as “the best young rock ‘n’ roll band in the known universe. It contained the songs, “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”. However it wasn’t until they made a brief tour of England that they began to see the fruits of their labor; a performance at The Roundhouse in London on July 4, 1976 (second-billed to the Flamin’ Groovies), organized by Linda Stein, was a resounding success. Their Roundhouse appearance and a club date the following night—where the band met members of the Sex Pistols and The Clash—helped galvanize the burgeoning UK punk rock scene. The Flamin’ Groovies/Ramones double bill was successfully reprised at The Roxy in Los Angeles in August and at Toronto in September.
Their next two albums, Leave Home and Rocket to Russia, were released in 1977. Both were coproduced by Tommy and Tony Bongiovi, the second cousin of Jon Bon Jovi. Leave home included the song “Pinhead”, which became one of the band’s signature songs with its chanted refrain of “Gabba gabba hey!” Rocket to Russia was the band’s highest-charting album to date, and was hailed as “the best American rock & roll of the year” contained the songs “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” and “Rockaway Beach”. In 1977, the Ramones recorded It’s Alive, a live concert double album, at theRainbow Theatre, London, which was released April 1979 (the title is a reference to the 1974 horror film of the same name).
Tommy, tired of touring, left the band in early 1978. He continued as the Ramones’ record producer under his birth name of Erdelyi. His position as drummer was filled by Marc Bell, who had been a member of the early 1970s hard rock band Dust, Wayne County and the Backstreet Boys, and the pioneering punk group Richard Hell & The Voidoids. Bell became Marky Ramone. Later that year, the band released their fourth studio album, and first with Marky, Road to Ruin. The album, co-produced by Tommy with Ed Stasium, included some new sounds such as acoustic guitar, several ballads, and the band’s first two recorded songs longer than three minutes and contained the song, “I Wanna Be Sedated”, which appeared both .The artwork on the album’s cover was done by Punk magazine cofounder John Holmstrom. In 1979, the band made their movie debut in Roger Corman’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979), and renowned producer Phil Spector became interested in the Ramones and produced their 1980 album End of the Century. Pleasant Dreams, the band’s sixth album, was released in 1981. It continued the trend established by End of the Century, taking the band further from the raw punk sound of its early records the next album Subterranean Jungle, produced by Ritchie Cordell and Glen Kolotkin, was released in 1983. After the release of Subterranean Jungle, Marky was fired from the band due to his alcoholism. He was replaced by Richard Reinhardt, who adopted the name Richie Ramone.
he first album the Ramones recorded with Richie Ramone was Too Tough to Die in 1984. The band’s main release of 1985 was the British single “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg”; The following year the band recorded their last album with Richie, Halfway to Sanity,Richie left in August 1987, upset that after being in the band for four years, the other members would still not give him a share of the money they made selling T-shirts. Richie was replaced by Clem Burke from Blondie, then Dee Dee left the band as they began recording their eleventh studio album, 1989’s Brain Drain. He was replaced by Christopher Joseph Ward (C.J. Ramone), who performed with the band until they disbanded. Dee Dee initially pursued a brief career as a rapper under the name Dee Dee King. In 1995, the Ramones released ¡Adios Amigos!, their fourteenth studio album, and announced that they planned to disband if it was not successful. The band spent late 1995 on what was promoted as a farewell tour. However, they accepted an offer to appear in the sixth Lollapalooza festival, which toured around the United States during the following summer. After the Lollapalooza tour’s conclusion, the Ramones played their final show on August 6, 1996, at the Palace in Hollywood. A recording of the concert was later released on video and CD as We’re Outta Here! In addition to a reappearance by Dee Dee, the show featured several guests including Motörhead’s Lemmy, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, and Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen and disbanded After having performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years.
Little more than eight years after the breakup, the band’s three founding members had all passed away—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone in 2004 and bassist Dee Dee Ramone in 2002. Sadly their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. However, recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1′s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only The Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers Tommy and Marky Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.