The Who pay tribute to Tom Wright (1944 – 2022) saying: “Rest In Peace, Tom Wright 1944 – 2022. Friend and fellow art student with Pete Townshend at the Ealing School of Art, photographer, tour manager, former manager of the Ballroom Grande, Detroit and very dear friend and associate of The Who and so many other bands and artists Tom Wright, a one-off.
The band also posted a lengthy obituary to TheWho.comwhich reads in part: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Tom Wright, photographer, longtime friend and tour manager of The Who. American from Alabama, Tom studied photography at the Ealing College of Art in the early 1960s. It was there that he introduced graphic design students Pete Townshend and his roommate Richard Barnes to the double pleasures of smoking marijuana. and listen to American blues, jazz, folk, and R&B. Tom’s extensive record collection included artists such as Jimmy Reed, Lightning Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Little Walter, and Snooks Eaglin , as well as Joan Baez, Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Julie London and Mose Allison.
“When he was arrested for possession and threatened with deportation, Tom secured a plane ticket to America, leaving his entire record collection in the hands of Pete Townshend. Via this extraordinary and eclectic mix of albums and singles, Pete then began to develop his own individual, rhythmic style that would later define The Who’s unique sound, moving them away from being just another ’60s beat band into a ‘maximum’ R&B band. ‘ and later the legendary juggernaut who became ‘the best live rock ‘n’ roll band in the world’.
“When The Who toured the United States in the summer of 1967 as a backing band for Herman’s Hermits, Tom joined them as road manager and tour photographer and from those early days of the band’s career. came some of the most defining images of the period.He toured with The Who for two further tours of the United States in 1968, constantly photographing the group before assuming the position of manager of Russ Gibb’s prestigious Grand Ballroom in Detroit for a few years.
Read the full obituary at TheWho.com.