Scott and Paul head over to Gary's house to chat about the unlikely role Florence Henderson played in his early career; how the first song he ever wrote landed him a spot in Spooky Tooth; what he learned from swapping new tunes with Elton John; how he forged a lifelong friendship with George Harrison; what he did for the future of synthesized music when he released his classic Dream Weaver album; why he was questioned when Judas Priest got sued for allegedly encouraging suicide on one of their records; what it was like to be a part of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band; and how he helped Jay-Z and Kanye West nab a Grammy award.
Launching his professional career as a child actor on Broadway, Gary Wright eventually moved to Europe to pursue post-graduate studies in Psychology. While there, he co-founded the group Spooky Tooth as keyboardist and primary songwriter. He departed in 1970 to launch a solo career and, during this era, began working as a studio musician, playing on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album, Ringo Starr’s “It Don’t Come Easy,” Harry Nilsson’s “Without You,” and other notable recordings by legends such as B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis. His work with George Harrison led to a lifelong friendship, resulting in Wright appearing on every Harrison solo album in the 1970s. George recorded several of their co-written compositions, including “If You Believe” from his 1979 self-titled album and “That’s What It Takes,” which the two composed with Jeff Lynne for the acclaimed Cloud 9 album. After a second stint with Spooky Tooth from 1972-1974, Gary’s commercial breakthrough as a solo artist came when he signed with Warner Bros. Records. The Dream Weaver LP from 1975 spawned two massive hits; the title track, which became a #1 single, and “Love is Alive,” which climbed to #2 on the Billboard pop chart. He continued to record for Warner Bros. into the 1980s, with highlights including the critically acclaimed Headin’ Home album in 1979 and the Top 20 single “Really Want to Know You” from 1981. After spending several years exploring world music, Gary returned to his rock and pop roots with a Spooky Tooth reunion in 2004, followed by a multi-year stint in Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band beginning in 2008. His most recent release is the previously unheard album Ring of Changes, which he recorded in 1972 with his band Wonderwheel, featuring a pre-Foreigner Mick Jones. In 2014 Gary released his autobiography, Dream Weaver: Music, Meditation and My Friendship with George Harrison.