Gary Wright (April 26, 1943, Cresskill, New Jersey) is an American musician, most famous for his song, “Dream Weaver” and the piano player on one of the biggest selling and most famous ballads of all time, Harry Nilsson’s version of “Without You”. He currently resides in Palos Verdes Estates, California with wife Rose. He has two adult sons, Dorian and Justin. The latter son is a member of the band Intangible.
After completing his studies at the Frei University in Berlin in post graduate psychology in 1966, Gary Wright actively pursued music. Already fluent in German, he spent the next year touring throughout Germany doing live performances and beginning his career as a songwriter.
In 1967, Gary met Island Records founder Chris Blackwell and moved to London where he formed rock group Spooky Tooth. Island releases “It’s All About”, the group’s first record which immediately won critical acclaim. The group began touring the UK and Europe.
The second album “Spooky Two” was released entering the international record charts and became a “classic”. The group toured the United States playing with such legends as Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones.
Gary left Spooky Tooth in 1970 for a time to produce records for veteran producer Jimmy Miller of Rolling Stone and Traffic fame. Playing keyboards on George Harrison’s classic “All Things Must Pass” along with Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins and other greats, he began a musical relationship with Harrison which included playing on his upcoming records as well as co-writing songs on several of George’s albums. George and Gary visited India together in 1972 as Ravi Shankar’s guests and Gary cultivated long term relationships with some of India’s classical artists including Lakshmi Shankar, Ravi Shankar and L. Subramanium. Recording two critically acclaimed albums for A&M Records, he then reformed Spooky Tooth with Mick Jones (who later went on to form super group Foreigner) and released three more albums. In June of 1974, he signed a solo deal with Warner Bros. Records.
In 1975 Gary wrote and produced an all keyboard/synthesizer album, The Dream Weaver, the first ever of its kind. Touring with a unique all keyboard band, his new record raced up the charts. Pioneering new technologies in cut-down versions of synthesizers and drum machines, the music instrument business began manufacturing his ideas which by the late ‘80s became a huge business.
The song “Dream Weaver” was Number One on the charts in 1976 and the next release, “Love is Alive” reached Number Two, selling over two million albums and over two million singles. “The Dream Weaver” soon became a classic. Gary toured the US and Europe with Peter Frampton and Yes, selling out stadium-size venues and won the Don Kirschner award for Best Vocalist of 1976.
Continuing a heavy touring schedule, Gary released four more albums for Warner Bros., the last being “The Right Place” containing the hit single “Really Want to Know You”.
Focusing his energy on scoring films, he collaborated with producer Shep Gordon (manager of Alice Cooper and Blondie) and wrote the score for the Allen Rudolf thriller Endangered Species. He later continued writing film music for Sylvester Stallone in Stayin’ Alive and Willie Bogner’s German Oscar-winning Fire and Ice. The Fire and Ice soundtrack charted in the top five in Germany containing five of Gary’s songs and was a huge hit in 1986 for CBS. Co-writing with Jeff Lynne and George Harrison, he again played keyboards on George’s Number One-selling Cloud Nine album, along with guests Elton John and Eric Clapton.
In 1988, Gary released Who I Am on Cypress Records using an all-star cast of musicians including a South Indian percussion section and performances from Indian classical greats Lakshmi Shankar and L. Subramanium. The album is critically acclaimed in Germany, winning audiophile awards for its production.
Beginning a promising songwriting partnership with Bobby Hart, Gary began writing and recording his next solo effort. In November 1991, Warner Bros. Records asked Gary to re-make “Dream Weaver” for the film Wayne’s World. Early in 1992, Wayne’s World becomes the Number One film and Number One soundtrack album in Billboard, selling over two million copies and scoring high in the international charts. Joe Cocker remade “Love Is Alive” which charts internationally. Several well known” rap” artists, including Third Base and Ton Loc, used samples of Gary’s music on their records. Ton Loc’s album sells over three million worldwide.
Gary recorded and released his first world music album, First Signs of Life incorporating music and percussion from Brazil and Nigeria Included on the album are guest appearances by George Harrison and Terry Bozzio.
“Dream Weaver” appears in Academy Award nominee film The People vs. Larry Flynt. Female vocal group Third Party recorded a dance version of “Love is Alive”, which became a Top 40 hit. Carol Burnette’s daughter, Erin Hamilton records a dance version of “Dream Weaver”, which entered the dance music charts. Gary completed his new studio album Human Love featuring guest appearances from Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne and Peter Gabriel violinist L.Shankar among others. Rhino Records scheduled the release of The Best of Gary Wright - The Dream Weaver for Fall of 1998.
Joan Osborne re-recorded “Love is Alive” on her 2000 release Righteous Love. Anastacia also re-recorded “Love is Alive” on her 2000 release Not That Kind which topped the charts in Europe and Asia. Gary launched his new record label Larkio Music with Human Love in the Fall of 2000 with more releases from both his sons Dorian and Justin (Give) in 2001. Willy Bogner’s new IMAX film Ski to the Max starring Pink and John Eaves premiered in Berlin in October 2000, featuring Gary’s new song “We can Fly” as the title track. The soundtrack album from the film was released on BMG Records in Europe in the Fall of 2000 and includes three of Gary’s songs.
Gary’s latest release is an instrumental album, Waiting to Catch the Light, and is available as a MP3 download.