Fulfilling Many a School Boy's Fantasy, The Dream Weaver Spent Many Nights with Mrs. Brady
As its subtitle suggests, this rock autobiography provides a lot of interaction with one of The Beatles. Dream Weaver by Gary Wright comes with the subtitle “Music, Meditation, and My Friendship with George Harrison."
Although published in 2014, Wright's autobiography has recently made the news because of the emergence of a lost album. Ring of Changes from 1972 preceded the breakthrough album which lends its name to the memoir, but it was not widely released.
Just in time for its fiftieth anniversary, Ring of Changes will be re-released and made widely available on July 29, 2022. The story about its origin and the reasons for its poor promotion are discussed in Wright's Dream Weaver, along with many other pieces of trivia regarding the life of the keyboardist for Spooky Tooth.
Here are 25 facts found in the book that until its publication had not been widely known.
1. Wright's sister Lorna was a singer herself, releasing her own Police Woman on Elton John's Island Records.
2. Lorna's husband, therefore Gary Wright's brother-in-law, became the keyboardist for Mike and the Mechanics.
3. Wright appeared on television for the first time on commercial for Post Sugar Crisp, which aired during the Captain Video and His Video Rangers show.
4. He starred on Broadway in a production of South Pacific, playing the part of the son of Florence Henderson's Fanny.
5. His first band was Willy Nelson and the Dukes, named after a fellow Tenafly High School student who was Ricky Nelson's cousin.
6. Saxophone player Billy Crandall, who had been a member of future Four Seasons legend Bob Gaudio, joined forces with Wright to form The Twistabouts.
7. An obscure song called “Sunshine Help Me” was sampled by Jay Z and Kanye West on “No Church in the Wild” from their album Watch the Throne, which debuted at number one on the 2011 Billboard Charts.
8. Mott the Hoople and Stealer's Wheel guitarist Ariel Bender, who was then known as Luther Grosvenor, played with Wright in Spooky Tooth.
9. Bassist Greg Ridley formed Humble Pie, along with Peter Frampton, after the breakup of Spooky Tooth.
10. Traffic founders Dave Mason and Steve Winwood both played on Spooky Two, along with backing vocalist Joe Cocker.
11. It was Wright who first encouraged manager Chris Blackwell to check out a band whose “lead singer played flute really well and created a persona onstage the likes of which I've not seen before,” obviously alluding to future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Jethro Tull.
12. While working for Ringmaker Music, Wright produced a group named Sky that later became The Knack.
13. On the Grammy Winning song “Without You” and much of the Nilsson Schmilsson record, it was Wright who played the piano parts.
14. he also played the piano on Ringo Starr's first solo smashes, “Back off Boogaloo” and “It Don't Come Easy.”
15. While Spooky Tooth was on tour with the J. Giels Band and Montrose, Wright became good friends with the latter's lead singer Sammy Hagar.
16. Spooky Tooth co-founder Mick Jones formed Foreigner, who became Top Ten frequenters shortly after Dream Weaver peaked at number two.
17. Roger Linn, a friend of the members of Spooky Tooth, was so inspired by the band's use of electronics that he invented the famous LinnDrum Machine.
18. Wright was the first star to hire keyboardist David Foster, who went on to write and produce for artists like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Earth, Wind, and Fire.
19. When playing at the Oakland Coliseum, Wright often stayed at a hotel where future Hollywood star Tom Hanks worked as a bellman.
20. Graham Nash and David Crosby provided backing vocals on Wright's fourth solo album, Headin' Home.
21. Because of their shared religious faith, the Dream Weaver and actor Dennis Weaver became close friends.
22. While attending auto races with George Harrison, Wright became pals with speedway legend Jackie Stewart and actor Gene Hackman.
23. The Right Place, Gary's fifth album, featured backing vocals from Timothy B. Schmidt of the Eagles and David Pack of Ambrosia.
24. John Travolta and Sylvester Stallone hired Wright to create the soundtrack for Stayin' Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever.
25. It was Wright's idea for Harrison to do a cover version of “I Got My Mind Set on You,” which became a number one hit from George's Cloud Nine album.