|The charming, witty and charismatic Guy Pratt is a far cry from the sullen, moody Roger Waters, former bass player of Pink Floyd, complaining about his apple pie crust on Live at Pompeii DVD. Gilmore must have thought it was heaven when Pratt joined the Delicate Sound of Thunder tour in 1987. Pratt was shocked when he played Brisbane to discover the BEC car park and surrounding areas where over run with cane toads and that people were playing golf with them while waiting for the gig. These and many more tales are covered in his book My Bass and other animals.
Pratt is a well known session bassist, working alongside some of the most successful musicians in history; Jimmy Page, Madonna, Michael Jackson (who you never actually saw), David Coverdale from White Snake and Robert Palmer, (just to name a few). He is also a songwriter, actor and comedian
and is in Australia doing a Spoken Word Tour which is like stand up comedy based on his amazing life featuring interludes of astounding bass playing. Called the Breakfast of Idiots after Robert Palmer‘s famous breakfast of choice – a cappuccino and a martini.
He starts the show explaining how he never wanted to play the bass, and demonstrates how uncool this is by playing the lead from Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water (Ritchie Blackmore) and follows it up with the bass line of the same song which is almost unrecognisable (Roger Glover). Nobody wants to play the bass. Even Sir Paul McCartney didn’t want to play the Bass, he said that’s the instrument you give the fat kid. However he loves the disco era as that was when Bass was King in songs like Chic’s Good Times.
Guy initially came to international attention at the tender age of 19 as the bass player in one of our own musical success stories, “Icehouse”, which he was a member of for nearly 4 years. Touring the world almost continuously in the early 80’s, Icehouse landed the European support slot on David Bowie’s massive 1983 “Serious Moonlight” tour catapulting Guy into the view of the music elite. Most of this success was due to the single “Hey Little Girl” mainly because people thought it was Roxy Music.
Pratt shares his stories of rock n roll from a back stage POV involving David Crosby the ultimate naughty santa and his many chemical experiments in his trailer. Or Jimmy Page, who he impersonates as Rik Myall, allowing him to fly first class, then him waking up in a wheelchair in custody at Heathrow. Or the screaming Madonna for whom he played the “Like a Prayer” bass line. Though memory is a funny thing, especially compounded with the somewhat dubious life of a rock star, he admits that at least one story isn’t his own, but it’s the kind of thing he might do. His stories are very humorous and Pratt is the ultimate showman.
He described Pink Floyd as the most expensive piece of childishness, and described how the light show on Run Like Hell actually looks like Satan’s Combined Harvester , that most audiences would have sued them for blinding the first four rows, except the diehard Floyd fans who tend to resemble the Comic Store guy from The Simpsons. Pratt ended the show with a cash convertors bass after realising that expensive basses were just too difficult to break, even when the pyrotechnic crew alias ex NASA sociopaths have hooked it up to explode making it effectively a bomb, like they did during the Pink Floyd gig. Then in true rock and roll style he proved you have to bleed a little for your art by smashing the cheap bass on stage, before signing autographs for impressed fans.
Guy Pratt – My Bass and other animals