Gary Wright has rocked seas of fans, jammed with members of The Beatles at Abby Road studio, and shed peace and enlightenment the world over. His worldwide hits “Dream Weaver,” “Love Is Alive,” and “Really Wanna Know You,” have inspired generations of musicians, including contemporary artists Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Joe Cocker, who have sampled or covered Wright’s music in new tracks.
Gary Malcolm Wright is an American singer, songwriter and musician, best known for his 1976 hit songs “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive“, and for his role in helping establish the synthesizer as a leading instrument in rock and pop music. Wright’s breakthrough album, The Dream Weaver (1975), came after he had spent seven years in London as, alternately, a member of the British heavy rock band Spooky Tooth and a solo artist on A&M Records. While in England, he played keyboards on former Beatle George Harrison‘s All Things Must Pass triple album (1970), so beginning a friendship that inspired the Indian religious themes and spirituality inherent in Wright’s subsequent songwriting. His work since the late 1980s has embraced world music and the new age genre, although none of his post-1976 releases has matched the popularity of The Dream Weaver.
After meeting Chris Blackwell of Island Records in Europe, Wright moved to London, where he helped establish Spooky Tooth as a popular live act. He also served as the band’s principal songwriter on their recordings – among them, the well-regarded albums Spooky Two (1969) and You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw (1973). His solo album Footprint (1971), recorded with contributions from Harrison, coincided with the formation of Wright’s short-lived band Wonderwheel, which included guitarist Mick Jones. Also during the early 1970s, Wright played on notable recordings by B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson and Ronnie Spector, while his musical association with Harrison endured until shortly before the latter’s death in 2001.
Wright turned to film soundtrack work in the early 1980s, which led to him re-recording his most popular song, “Dream Weaver”, for the 1992 comedy Wayne’s World. Following Spooky Tooth’s reunion tour in 2004, Wright has performed live frequently, either as a member of Starr’s All-Starr Band, with his own live band, or on subsequent Spooky Tooth reunions. Wright’s most recent solo albums, including Waiting to Catch the Light (2008) and Connected (2010), have all been issued on his Larklio record label. In 2014, Penguin Random House published his autobiography, titled Dream Weaver: Music, Meditation, and My Friendship with George Harrison.
In 2016 Wright produced and released “Ring of Changes” and one of the first albums to be recorded at the newly opened Apple Studios on Saville Row, the album is remarkably eclectic in style, ranging from the funky blues of “Goodbye Sunday” with lyrics by Gary’s sister Lorna Lee, featuring a George Harrison slide guitar solo that sounds like an outtake from All Things Must Pass (which Wright famously played on) to the Crosby, Stills & Nash folk-rock harmonies and Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” feel of the album’s epic closer “Creation”.