Q & A with Guy Pratt
Pink Floyd/David Gilmour Bassist, Comedian, Author and Composer
'Bass players are ten a penny but a good wit is hard to find, so we hired him' -David Gilmour
That was David Gilmour's statement when questioned about the hiring of Guy Pratt as the bassist to take over the bass duties of Pink Floyd in 1987 during the Momentary Lapse of Reason/Delicate Sound of Thunder tour. Filling in the shoes left by former lead writer and bass player Roger Waters, Guy has done admirably playing for the Floyd for over 20 years! His other credits include: Robert Palmer, Bryan Ferry, Ice House, Dream Academy, Madonna, Michael Jackson to name a few. Guy has also established himself as an author with the release of his book, "My Bass and other Animals" which takes the reader on a journey with Guy through his touring and recording sessions with some of the worlds most well respected artists. The book is brilliant and is written for the everyday person which gives the reader an inside view of what its really like on the road. Guy Subsequently parlayed this into a stand up comedy routine which can be seen in Europe with hopes of coming to the United States.
Guy Pratt is currently touring with Bryan Ferry across eastern Europe and took valuable time to answer these questions for tonefromheaven.com.
Question in black by John Roscoe while Guy's answers are in blue:
Tell us a little about Guy Pratt these days...I understand you have a stand up comedy act and have written a book, along with playing and touring with David Gilmour, Bryan Ferry etc...
That's pretty much it, as well as a spot of DJing for Planet Rock Radio. I'm trying to write a screenplay based on a story from my book as well...
Since this is a David Gilmour/Pink Floyd related site, what was it like stepping onto the stage with Pink Floyd for the first time? How did you get hooked up with Pink Floyd in the first place?
I can't remember much about the first gig. I was terrified of course! I knew David through my work with Bryan Ferry and Dream Academy.
What effects and guitars did you use from Momentary Lapse of Reason/Delicate Sound of Thunder to Division Bell/Pulse to the latest David Gilmour Album. I saw on the latest DG tour you had a Boss SCC-700 pedal switching system which was what DG used on his 1984 solo tour...accurate?
That is correct. It's all in the book mate...
Guy's list of equipment from the 2006 tour included:
2 Ashdown ABM 900 Heads
2 Ashdown 8 by 10 Cabs
Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
Demeter Compulator Compressor
Ashdown Bass Overdrive Plus
MXR Phase 90
Boss CE-2B Bass Chorus
Boss OC-2 Octave
Boss DD-5 Digital Delay
Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer
2 X Boss T4-2 Tuners
Boss SCC-700 Pedal Controller
Roland SDE 3000 Digital Delay
Melody Evidence Audio Guitar Cables
Elite 40-100 Stadium Strings
When with Pink Floyd did you stay faithful to the gear used on the recordings? or are you the type of player that says, "Just give me a guitar and some stomp boxes and I'll get on with it..."
I'm as faithful as I can be. I always play a Precision for instance..
How much creative freedom did you have with the new David Gilmour stuff vs. Pink Floyd era stuff. Was he stringent on how it was to be played or are you able to incorporate yourself into these songs?
David's never layed down the law at all. His tour last year was the first time I completely got myself out of the way and just played the old stuff faithfully. Except a couple of fills of course..
Do you have more of a "respect" for the earlier music of Pink Floyd now than when you first started playing? Echos on the solo David Gilmour tour was brilliant and it seemed to me as an audience member at Radio City Music Hall 04/05/06 that everyone played the song..almost reverently..What was it like playing such a Pink Floyd Classic, which hasn't been played in decades?
I've had 20 years of playing
Floyd classics, but Echoes was particularly special, especially seeing that
whole interplay between David and Rick.
Did you have any say on the recordings? As an artist did you think, "Well if I did it this way, it would sound better?"
I do what I do, and if David doesn't think it's right he says so, but on the whole the stuff I've done on record has been what I wanted to do.
On tour, any funny moments similar to that you wrote about in your book (IE - the non-impressed PF fan who put sun glasses on when the massive lightshow on the front of the stage went off and still seemed unimpressed?)
Yes but too long to answer
here..They are in my show though..
Bass the only instrument you are adept at? What got you started and what led you to where you are now? (Though I did notice you playing a blonde Strat on the DG solo tour)
Well I can obviously play the
guitar then can't I! I
play keys a bit as well...The second part of the question is ludicrously
sweeping...Read the book!
Last Question, short and simple right? What's in the works for Guy Pratt? Any tours coming about? Will you bring your comedy to the USA?
I'm on tour with Bryan
Ferry til the end of the year, then I would really like to bring my standup show
to the states, so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions...
Many thanks to Guy for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to do this Q & A. Please visit www.guypratt.com for more info on Guy's tour dates and projects!
If interested in reading "My Bass and other Animals" it can be readily found on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. It is really well worth the read!