Monday, September 15, 2008

Good News and Bad News

Today, we get polar opposites. On the one hand, Pink Floyd keyboard player and founding member Richard Wright passed away. On the other hand, my oldest child was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society this evening Let's start with the bad news, so we can end this post on a positive note.

Richard Wright was an integral part of the true sound of Pink Floyd. Here is the announcement from the Pink Floyd web site:

The family of Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd, announce with great sadness, that Richard died today after a short struggle with cancer. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.

Wright was a self-taught musician of the highest caliber. Without Wright, there would have been no Pink Floyd. The long keyboard solo on Dogs, from the Animals album is, I think, one of the best demonstrations of his musical ability.

Wright was always my favorite member of Pink Floyd, his low-key quiet manner radiated class. I don't know what the man was like off-stage, but on the stage, he was the consumate professional. He let his fingers do the talking most of the time, but on the few songs where he had the lead vocals, he handled them with such skill it makes you wish he sang the lead more often.

While I am saddened by the passing of Wright, he lives on in the only real place I know him. That is in the music. On the radio this evening, they played "Wish You Were Here" for their Live at Five segment. They played it in tribute to Wright. At first, I was taken aback because the song is very heavy in the sound of David Gilmour's guitar. After a couple of verses, it occurred to me that the music wasn't the point. The words were the point. It escaped me at first because I know the song was written about Syd Barrett. But today, the words were for Wright.

Okay, enough mourning. Let's talk about something more upbeat. Today, my oldest daughter, Audrey, was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.

Here is Audrey in her new dress, accompanied by her sister. It's really an outtake. They are trying to keep a group of friends out of the shot.

Here's the real deal, when she became a member.

And here is her posed picture shaking hands with the principal, with the vice principal standing by.

Of course, we are very proud of Audrey and wish her continued success in her studies.

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