Wright along with partner Terry Ellis formed Chrysalis Records in 1967. Wright is a veritable encyclopedia of the Brittish Invasion. Chrysalis is one of the most influential and successful record labels in history. Jethro Tull, Alvin Lee and Ten Years After, Procol Harum, Blondie, and Billy Idol are just a few of the bands on the Chrysalis label, now owned by BMG.
Wright's new autobiography ONE WAY or ANOTHER: My Life in Music, Sport and Entertainment is hot off the presses. Wright will be signing copies at Explore Booksellers in Aspen on Tuesday Feb. 18th at 5 pm. To buy it on-line; click ONE WAY or ANOTHER
His fascinating tales include a who's who of the "entire music scene". When Bill Graham inquired about the availability of Ten Years After in '67...a legend was born. Wright explained the complicated financial transaction that allowed Ten Years After to come to America for their first American tour at the same time he was mingling funds to help get Jethro Tull a publishing deal. Luckily for Wright and both bands...his travel insurance covered his appendix operation as well as most of their travel expenses. Wright brought Ten Years After to Woodstock in '69 where they had a breakout performance (see the vid below.)
Wright knew The Beatles, Led Zep, Cream, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, Paul Simon and others. He mentioned that he enjoyed the recent CBS TV special marking the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first appearance on Ed Sullivan. He quipped about the time he asked legendary producer George Martin if Ringo was the best drummer in the world. Martin replied..."he's not even the best drummer in the Beatles". Wright said it was well known back then that Paul was pretty good on the skins.
He told another story about Jimi Hendrix's last gig at Deutchland Halla when Jimi passed the guitar torch to Robin Trower. 2 weeks later Hendrix was gone..and Trower quit Procol Harum to go solo. In the book he shares stories about Jethro Tull, Blondie, Billy Idol and more. Blondie was "just on point of being the biggest thing in the world" when addiction and illness sidetracked the band. Some of the bands that got away Rod Stewart, David Bowie and Dire Straits.
Wright and I discussed modern music. He admitted that in the beginning he thought rap music would just be another short lived craze...like punk or disco...but he said" the kids love it and it's been around for a while and it's really evolved". Chris feels that today's artists don't live, sleep and breathe music like they used to. In the sixties "people didn't do music to get rich...they played music because they loved it."
When I asked Chris if there was one song...out of the thousands...that made him most nostalgic about the golden years of rock and roll. He hesitated and thought for several moments. "I'd have to say Whiter Shade of Pale, when that one comes on I always turn up the volume".
Meet CHRIS WRIGHT and get his book at Explore Booksellers in Aspen on Tues. Feb 18 at 5 pm. Or just buy ONE WAY OR ANOTHER on Amazon by clicking right here.