Synth pioneer Gary Wright, The Dream Weaver, has died at the age of 80

Gary Wright
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Acclaimed American musician and synth aficionado Gary Wright has died at the age of 80, it’s been confirmed.

Best known for his ‘70s hits Love Is Alive and Dream Weaver - the latter of which he re-recorded for use in 1992 movie Wayne’s World - Wright began his career in ‘60s British blues-rock band Spooky Tooth, before releasing his debut solo album, Extraction, in 1970.

Wright was also a close collaborator of George Harrison, playing piano on the ex-Beatle’s All Things Must Pass album in 1970 and all of his subsequent releases for the next decade.

Spooky Tooth reformed in 1972, but it was three years later, after the band had split again, that Wright scored his biggest success. The Dream Weaver, his third album, was created almost entirely with keyboards and a drum machine, and yielded big US hits in the form of the (almost) title track and Love Is Alive.

More solo albums followed, and Wright also turned his hand to film soundtracks in the ‘80s. A spot in Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band put another Beatle-shaped feather in his cap, and his Wayne’s World contribution helped to introduce Wright’s music to a new generation of listeners..

Justin Wright, Gary’s son, told TMZ that his father died on Monday morning at his home in California. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia for several years.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.