Tarcher HardcoverIn his new memoir, Dream Weaver: Music, Meditation, and My Friendship with George Harrison, Gary Wright shares many fascinating tales about his eventful music career, while delving deeply into his long creative and personal relationship with the late Beatles guitarist.

Wright tells ABC News Radio that the main theme of his book is his spiritual journey, something he feels sets the memoir apart from many rock autobiographies and something he says was influenced and inspired by Harrison.

“We became very close friends and he was on a spiritual path,” explains the 71-year-old singer/keyboardist, “and that was a bond that kind of glued our friendship together.”

The American-born Wright had established himself as the co-leader of the U.K. band Spooky Tooth during the late 1960s before meeting Harrison. He left the group to pursue a solo career in 1970, and later that year he accepted an invitation by his friend and longtime Beatles associate Klaus Voormann to play keyboards on George’s classic album All Things Must Pass.

Gary already was interested in Eastern philosophy and religion when he began collaborating with Harrison, and he says his experience working with George only enhanced his curiosity.

“One thing that I noticed immediately that was different than anything else I had ever seen in the studio was that he had strategically placed throughout the control room pictures of Indian saints and burning incense, and we had Indian vegetarian food brought in, and I was fascinated by that,” he recalls. “And I started asking him questions about [his beliefs], and he saw that I was interested and he started to give me spiritual books…[H]e really was my mentor.”

From then until Harrison’s death in 2001, the two musicians remained close, frequently working on each other’s musical projects, spending time with each other’s families and continuing to explore their shared spiritual pursuits.

Harrison even helped inspire Wright’s biggest hit, 1976’s “Dream Weaver,” whose title came from a poem featured in a book by late Indian guru Paramahansa Yogananda (pr: pa-rah-ma-HAN-sa yoga-NAN-da) that George had given Gary.

“Dream Weaver,” which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, gave Wright his first real taste of solo pop success. He followed that with another #2 hit, “Love Is Alive,” and those songs remain Gary’s most recognizable recordings. Wright tells ABC News Radio that his spiritual beliefs kept him “focused and balanced” during a time when he could have been seduced by the trappings of fame and pop stardom.

“It’s very, very easy to get [into] taking drugs and doing all that road,” he notes. “And that temptation is always there, but I found that practicing the spiritual life on a routine basis, it kept me really centered. And so, I was able to maintain my cool, even though…the summer of ’76 was, like, crazy.”

He recalls one particularly big show he played at Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium during the peak of his fame, pointing out that while he certainly felt an ego boost by the adulation, he looked at that as a positive emotion he shared with his audience.

“It was an amazing feeling…because it was a feeling of power, but in a good way,” he maintains. “It was like I’m giving love to the people through my music, and that was a very rewarding experience for me.”

Dream Weaver is available now at many major retailers and online stores as a hardbound book and an ebook. A deluxe ebook also can be purchased that includes a download of a new version of a 1971 song Wright co-wrote with Harrison called “To Discover Yourself” that features contributions from Ringo Starr and Stone Temple PilotsRobert and Dean DeLeo.

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