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Author Topic: Interview: 'Dream Weaver' Gary Wright on George Harrison, Ringo Starr  (Read 723 times)

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June 16, 12:04 AMBeatles ExaminerSteve Marinucci

Gary Wright has been the "Dream Weaver," but now he's getting "Connected." That's the title of his first new pop album in 23 years that's just been released. And this summer he'll be connecting also in a different way -- he'll be out again on the road with Ringo Starr and the All-Starr Band starting June 24.

So how long did it take to put the new album together? "It was done over a couple of years," with engineer Rob Calhoun, Wright told us over the phone. "Some of the songs I'd written previously to having started, some during the process. It was a combination of things."

He says he tries to vary his method of writing songs. "Half the songs were written on an acoustic guitar. I'd take it to my studio and put up an electronic groove underneath." But he also says he's used other ways, making use of studio technology, too. "I don't like to stick to the same form every time."

He also said he didn't want it to sound overproduced. "I've always had this desire to experiment. I decided to make this album in the same spirit as the 'Dream Weaver' album. Everything played on the album had a really powerful role. I wanted to keep it simple, but I wanted to use some electronic drums, too." Will Kennedy from the Yellowjackets is featured on drums on the album, giving it a "modern feeling."

Ringo Starr plays on the title tune, also the album's first single. "After doing 'Peace Dream' (for Ringo's CD 'Y Not'), which I co-wrote, I asked Ringo to do drumming (on the track). He did it at his studio." Joe Walsh also appears on the song. "I love Joe's playing. He's such a great guitar player."

Early in his career, Wright worked as a child actor and actually appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1955 with Florence Henderson doing songs from "Be Kind To Your Mother," in which they both appeared. "It was a little intimidating" for a young boy, he says.

He also saw the Beatles at Carnegie Hall in 1964. "I remember it well. A friend of my sister's got the ticket. I wasn't sure until (about them) until 'I Want To Hold Your Hand.'" He called the show "very exciting" and remembers laughing about it with George Harrison.

Wright became a close friend of Harrison's after he was asked to play on the "All Things Must Pass" sessions. "I was brought into those sessions through a friend of mine, Klaus Voormann. I played on 'Isn't it a Pity.' Then Geroge invited me to play more. That's when we became friends."

 Wright also played on most of the tracks of "Living in the Material World." "I prefer 'Living in the Material World' to 'All Things Must Pass,'" he says, "because it didn't have the big production."

The deluxe digital version of "Connected," available through Wright's website features two tracks with Harrison connections.  The first track, "To Discover Yourself," was co-written by Wright and Harrison in 1971 and recorded by Wright on the day of George's death in 2001. "He was over at my apartment. I wrote most of the lyrics. He did the music. i put it in the back of my mind. The actual day that George passed, I was in the studio (and) I decided to memorialize that day by recording the song. That was the version that I've just put out."

The second song, "Never Give Up," was recorded in 1989 and features Harrison on guitar. "Over the years, he had played on a lot of my music," he explains.

Wright later performed with Harrison on "The Dick Cavett Show." Or maybe it was the other way around, as Dick Cavett introduced Wright and his group "and friend." (See video below.) "That was kind of George's way to be very unassuming. He had his head down and you really didn't know who it was," Wright says.

Wright talks equally kindly about Ringo Starr, with whom he'll be touring this summer as part of the All-Starr Band and singing "Love Is Alive" and "Dream Weaver."

"Ringo's just a great guy," he says. And the All-Starr Band is really a band. "He treats it like a band. He's very endearing. It's not like Madonna or someone forcing things down your throat. (There's a lot of) creative latitude. It comes forth in the music. And he's a master of dialogue with the audience."

After the All-Starr Band tour wraps up, he plans to tour with his own band. "I was already out in April and we'll be out again in September and October."

Wright says the Beatles were beyond talented. "I think in the early days up until 'Abbey Road,' everyone would focus on Lennon and McCartney. (But) they were (all) great singers (and) you had four incredible musicians."


Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-2082-Beatles-Examiner~y2010m6d16-Interview-Dream-Weaver-Gary-Wright-on-George-Harrison-and-his-new-album-Connected
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