Dick Parry – All The Sax You Can Handle!
One of my favorite things about Pink Floyd is learning about the sheer number of people who contributed, in one form or another, to the creation of some of the most memorable pieces of music ever written.
Pink Floyd saw any number of guest musicians come and go throughout their years of recording and touring, but one guy who definitely left his mark in the Floyd universe was Richard “Dick” Parry, an English saxophone player and good friend of David Gilmour.
Parry started his career in a band with Gilmour in the mid-60’s called Joker’s Wild. Gilmour would eventually go on to join Pink Floyd while Parry became a session musician, but David never forgot his old friend, and eventually invited him to play on “Dark Side Of The Moon” and “Wish You Were Here,” resulting in the unforgettable sax solos in the songs “Money,” “Us and Them,” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”
Parry also played on every live Pink Floyd performance from 1973-1977, and would eventually be invited back by David Gilmour to record “Wearing The Inside Out” on “The Division Bell” album, and to once again tour with the band on their 1994 Division Bell tour and the subsequent 1995 Pulse tour.
David Gilmour has always kept Dick Parry close at hand, inviting him to play on his solo tours in 2002 and 2006, as well as appearing with Pink Floyd for their 2005 reunion performance at Live 8, to play his iconic “Money” solo.
While never an official member of the band, Dick Parry’s contributions to Pink Floyd’s body of work were substantial, and his parts were often the most anticipated moments of the songs on which he is featured.
The moral of the story? If you’re a musician, and you befriend any virtuoso guitar geniuses, stay in touch! One of them just might go on to form the biggest rock and roll band in the world and decide to invite you over to peel off a couple of solos on what might go on to become the best-selling rock album of all time!
You never know.
Photo credit: Stephen D. Strowes. Licensed Creative Commons BY-SA.