Gary Wright, Who Had a 70s Hit With Dream Weaver, Dies at 80
He was a pioneer in using synthesizers, and his friendship with George Harrison led to a spiritual awakening that also influenced another hit, Love Is Alive.
Gary Wright, a spiritually-minded singer-songwriter who helped modernize the sound of pop music with his pioneering use of synthesizers while crafting infectious and seemingly inescapable hits of the 1970s like Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive, died on Monday at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. He was 80.
The cause was complications of Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia, his son Justin said.
The New Jersey-bred Mr. Wright rose to prominence in the late 1960s after relocating to London and helping to form the bluesy British progressive rock band Spooky Tooth.
He soon befriended George Harrison, with whom he would collaborate frequently over the years, including playing keyboards on that former Beatles magnum opus triple album, All Things Must Pass, released in 1970.
Their long friendship would have a lasting impact on both Mr. Wrights life and his music. Mr. Harrison introduced him to Eastern mysticism, giving him a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda, who helped popularize yoga and meditation in the United States, and Mr. Harrison traveled with him to India.