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Progressive Rock Icon Richard Wright Passes Away

Richard Wright Performing on Stage

In one of my more shameful procrastinations, I neglected posting this blog last Monday when I first heard the news of Wright's passing, instead congregating with friends to celebrate the music and mourn the death of one of the most important people to ever grace the enigmatic genre that is progressive music. That man is Richard Wright, ex-keyboardist, vocalist, and songwriter of the band Pink Floyd. He passed away on September 15th, 2008 at age 65 from a form of cancer undisclosed by his family. An official story exists here.

This man has played a crucial role in my life, just as he has in those of millions worldwide, and his passing stabs me even deeper than that of Syd Barrett’s just recently. The music of Pink Floyd, much of which Wright wrote as an under-credited shadow of key songwriters David Gilmour and Roger Waters, has bid me safely through the most wretched times of my life, through times of unbearable angst, familial chaos, and the insufferable, dissonant days of a confused teenager's philosophical depression; and of course, has somehow bettered times that were already of absolute joy, with a precision and depth that begs one to utter the word "perfection". Since their conception in 1965, Pink Floyd has allowed decades of similar respite to its international fanbase, and as I listen with intense nostalgia to one of Wright's most obscure and magic contributions (“Sysyphus” from the 1969 Ummagumma) I will do the utmost in bringing to the fore of my mind the knowledge of the man and his band that I have proudly and nerdily accumulated over the years, hopefully giving him the honor he deserves. Bear with me; this is rather personal and will likely reach great lengths, literally speaking.

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In 2006, then-editor Steve Smith of The Spokesman-Review had the idea of starting a publication for an often forgotten audience: teenagers. The Vox Box was a continuation of the Vox, an all-student staffed newspaper published by The Spokesman-Review. High school student journalists who staffed the Vox made all content decisions as they learn about the trade of journalism. This blog's mission was to give students an opportunity to publish their voices. The Vox Box and the Vox wrapped up in June 2009, but you can follow former staffers' new blog at