Gary Wright is an interesting guy. His memoir, Dream Weaver, covers a lot of ground from his childhood in New Jersey, finding a deep faith in Hinduism, becoming close friends with George Harrison, finding success with “The Dream Weaver” album, and running into professional and personal setbacks. But through it all he had a positive attitude and dealt with all the setbacks in a positive way. In this sense Wright’s biography is very different from the Rock Biographies I’m used to reading. Gary didn’t drink, didn’t do drugs, and didn’t treat people poorly, and didn’t go crazy on the road.
Although “The Dream Weaver” album was very successful, his other musical endeavors were not. Gary had a number of bands in New Jersey. He attended college in German and formed bands there. He toured Europe and found himself in England in 1968. Gary ran into Chris Blackwell of Island Records. They assembled the band Spooky Tooth, which had some moderate success in the early 1970s. Gary bounced back and forth doing solo work, writing soundtracks, playing on George Harrison’s solo albums, producing artists, recording and touring with Spooky Tooth.
I found his work with Mick Jones (Foreigner) to be very interesting. I wonder if Mick ever thought about asking Gary to join Foreigner in 1981 when Foreigner almost broke up?
The book is subtitled, “Music, Meditation, and My Friendship With George Harrison.” So there are a lot of stories about working with George Harrison and vacationing with Harrison, often in India where they pursued their religious beliefs in tandem. I’m not that interested in his guru(s) but the positive affect on his life is hard to ignore.
Although Wright never reached the levels of fame that his friends did, I get the feeling he’s as happy or more happy than if he had. He is friends with and tours with Peter Frampton and Ringo Starr. He’s still writing and recording music. His son has a band that Gary assists with. Gary had a small role in making synthesizers and keyboards more integral to popular music. And he’s worked to help people find the sort of peace he’s enjoyed through the practice of Eastern spirituality.