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When and Why did Rick Wright leave the band?

During the sessions for The Wall, Richard Wright was basically forced out of Pink Floyd.

One story holds that Waters had even gone so far as to threaten to destroy all the working tapes if Wright didn’t leave. Another quotes David Gilmour as saying that Wright wasn’t contributing much of anything, and hadn’t been for a couple years, partially due to something of “a bad cocaine habit.”

Wright himself has stated that he “left” the band, but that’s almost definitely him putting his own spin on the situation. Then again, just about everybody seems to put their own spin on Wright’s departure.

Wright did play with the band on The Wall tour, but not as a full member of the band. Being paid on a wage, he was the only “member” of Pink Floyd to actually make money on that tour.

Yes, the Floyd “lost their shirts” on The Wall concerts. Each show was so phenomenally expensive to put on, and they did so few of those shows, that they couldn’t recoup their investment. The rest of the band were “investors,” as it were, but Wright’s role was the same as that of the roadies — fixed dollar amount per night or somesuch.

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