Guy Pratt

Guy Pratt (born 3 January 1962) is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, comedian and actor.

In a music career spanning more than 30 years, Pratt is best known for his work as a prolific session bass player, working with artists including Pink Floyd (also David Gilmour), Roxy Music (also Bryan Ferry), David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Smiths, Robert Palmer, Echo & the Bunnymen, Tears for Fears, Bananarama, Iggy Pop, Tom Jones, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Whitesnake, Womack & Womack, Kirsty MacColl, Gary Moore, Coverdale•Page, Lemon Jelly, The Orb, All Saints, Stephen Duffy, Robbie Robertson, and A. R. Rahman. In addition to his work as a session musician, Pratt has been a member of the Australian rock band Icehouse, and is currently a member of the electronica band Transit Kings with Alex Paterson (of The Orb), Jimmy Cauty (of the KLF), and Dom Beken. Pratt and Cauty also released the single “I Wanna 1-2-1 With You” as Solid Gold Chartbusters.

Pratt has also been an actor and worked on TV and film soundtracks, including Dick Tracy (1990), Last Action Hero (1993), Hackers (1995), Still Crazy (1998) and Johnny English Reborn (2011). In 2005 he debuted a one-man music and comedy show.

Early years

Guy Pratt was born on 3 January 1962, in a flat above a shop on the street The Cut, in Lambeth, south London, England. His father, Mike Pratt, was an actor, songwriter and screenwriter but died when he was 14. He worked for a while as a graphic designer, but then decided to concentrate on a music career. In 1981, aged 19, he was asked to tour with Icehouse. Two years later as a member of Icehouse he supported David Bowie on his Serious Moonlight Tour, which was Bowie’s longest, largest, and most successful concert tour. This led to other engagements including a stint with Pink Floyd. He also spent some time in Los Angeles, California, where he played with Madonna and Michael Jackson.

Career

In 1986 Smiths’ bassist Andy Rourke was arrested on drug-possession charges shortly before the band was scheduled to leave for its North American tour in support of The Queen Is Dead. Expecting that Rourke would thus be denied work visas for the U.S. and Canada, the band’s guitarist, Johnny Marr, asked Pratt to step in. He spent nearly two weeks with Rourke and the band, learning bass lines and rehearsing, but then shortly before the band was to leave Britain Rourke received his visas, and there was no need for Pratt to go.

Pratt came to prominence when he was chosen as the bass player for Pink Floyd’s post-Roger Waters A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour in 1987–90, and The Division Bell Tour in 1994. He co-performed the lead vocals on “Run Like Hell”, “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”, “Us and Them” and “Comfortably Numb” with Gilmour during the live shows. He also played bass on several tracks on The Division Bell. Tony Levin had performed most of the bass parts on A Momentary Lapse of Reason; Pratt replaced him on the later tour owing to Levin’s unavailability. Pratt also toured as part of Gilmour’s On an Island Tour backing band, alongside another Pink Floyd member (and his father-in-law), Richard Wright.

Besides working as a bass player, Pratt is a songwriter and composes music for TV and film. As a songwriter, Pratt co-wrote the UK number-one hit “Ain’t No Doubt” by Jimmy Nail. He produced, co-wrote and played bass, guitar and keyboards on the music for the 1998 Channel 4 drama series The Young Person’s Guide to Becoming a Rock Star. With regular collaborator Dom Beken, he provided the theme music to Spaced, where he also appeared as the character Minty. Pratt also acted in Linda Green and appeared in an episode of the remake of Randall & Hopkirk, starring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Pratt’s father Mike Pratt had played the part of Jeff Randall in the original 1960s series. Pratt also plays as a regular in the backing band for the BBC Radio 2 musical comedy show Jammin’ with Rowland Rivron.

Pratt’s one-man music and comedy show, My Bass & Other Animals, debuted in August 2005 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; this led to his book of the same name, published in May 2007. Pratt spent 2011 performing stand-up in Switzerland, Australia, and at the Edinburgh Fringe, as well as on a South American tour playing bass guitar for Dominic Miller.

In April 2010, Pratt joined Argentine band The End Pink Floyd, with Durga McBroom and Jon Carin, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pratt joined the Australian Pink Floyd Show on stage on 13 June 2011 for the Hampton Court Palace Festival for the song “Run Like Hell”. He joined the UK Pink Floyd cover band Brit Floyd on stage on 9 November 2013 as a special guest during the Liverpool leg of their Pulse tour. He performed on the songs “One of These Days”, “Comfortably Numb” and shared lead vocals with the band’s lead singer Damian Darlington during the finale of “Run Like Hell”.

Equipment

Pratt’s standard bass guitar arsenal includes a selection of various vintage Fender Precision and Jazz Basses, three Music Man StingRay 4-strings (black with rosewood fretboard and black pickguard, black with maple fretboard and white pickguard, natural with maple fretboard and black pickguard), a pair of headless Status 4 and 5-strings (fretless and fretted) and an amber Stuart Spector NS2.

During David Gilmour’s On An Island Tour, he mainly used a 3-colour sunburst 1961 Fender Precision, a burgundy mist 1963 Fender Jazz named ‘Betsy’, a Status Vintage GP Signature and a Framus Triumph electric upright bass. On Gilmour’s Live in Gdańsk DVD he is seen playing his Fender Jazz and Precision Basses as well as a Candy Apple Red Lakland Joe Osborn signature fretless Jazz Bass and a Rickenbacker 4001. On the studio jamming sessions included in the DVD, he played several Fender Jazz Basses, a Hofner Icon bass and a Ned Steinberger Design CR electric upright.

Pratt played his fretted 5-string and fretless 4-string Status headless basses, the amber Spector NS2, the burgundy mist “Betsy” 1963 Jazz Bass and two Precision Basses (a 2-colour sunburst 1958 and a “single-coil pickup” butterscotch blonde 1951) during the Pulse concerts in 1994.

His amps are usually Ashdown ABM heads and Ashdown ABM 810 Cabinets, although when playing with Gilmour they are WEM-badged to match Gilmour’s cabinets.

Awards

Pratt won a Grammy Award in 1995 for “Marooned”, an instrumental track on Pink Floyd’s 1994 album The Division Bell.[15] He has also been nominated for two Ivor Novello Awards and was awarded an ARIA Award for his work with Icehouse.

Writing

Pratt is the author of a book:

  • My Bass and Other Animals (2007), Orion ISBN 978-0752893358

Personal life

Pratt married Gala Wright, daughter of Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, in 1996 in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. The couple live with their son in Brighton.

Discography

1980s

Year Title Artist
1984 Sidewalk Icehouse
1985 The Ups and Downs Stephen Duffy
1985 The Dream Academy The Dream Academy
1985 Riptide Robert Palmer
1985 “Discipline of Love” (single) Robert Palmer
1986 Measure for Measure Icehouse
1987 Luz Y Sombra Flans
1987 Remembrance Days The Dream Academy
1987 Bête Noire Bryan Ferry
1987 “Kiss and Tell” (single) Bryan Ferry
1987 “The Right Stuff” (single) Bryan Ferry
1988 One More Story Peter Cetera
1988 Delicate Sound of Thunder Pink Floyd
1989 Kite Kirsty MacColl
1989 Legend in a Loungeroom Andy Qunta
1989 Like a Prayer Madonna
1989 “Like a Prayer” (single) Madonna
1989 “Dear Jessie” (single) Madonna
1989 “Oh Father” (single) Madonna

1990s

Year Title Artist
1990 Wild and Lonely The Associates
1990 Blue Pearl Blue Pearl
1990 Toy Matinee Toy Matinee
1991 Pop Life Bananarama
1991 Long Road Junior Reid
1991 Electric Landlady Kirsty MacColl
1991 Storyville Robbie Robertson
1991 A Different Kind of Weather The Dream Academy
1991 The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld The Orb
1992 Masterfile Icehouse
1992 Growing Up in Public Jimmy Nail
1992 U.F.Orb The Orb
1993 Debravation Debbie Harry
1993 Donna De Lory Donna De Lory
1993 Call Me Nightlife Nokko
1993 Elemental Tears for Fears
1994 Billy Pilgrim Billy Pilgrim
1994 Mamouna Bryan Ferry
1994 Well… Katey Sagal
1994 The Division Bell Pink Floyd
1994 “Take It Back” (single) Pink Floyd
1994 Heitor TP Heitor Pereira
1994 The Next Hundred Years Ted Hawkins
1994 Meanwhile Third Matinee
1994 Fruit of Life Wild Colonials
1995 Euroflake in Silverlake Gregory Gray
1995 HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I Michael Jackson
1995 Pulse Pink Floyd
1995 A Spanner in the Works Rod Stewart
1996 Raise the Pressure Electronic
1997 Dark Days in Paradise Gary Moore
1997 Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix Michael Jackson
1997 The Next Hundred Years [Gold Edition] Ted Hawkins
1997 Restless Heart Reunion David Coverdale & Whitesnake
1998 Dil Se.. for the song Dil Se Re A.R. Rahman
1998 Messiah Meets Progenitor Messiah
1998 The Ted Hawkins Story: Suffer No More Ted Hawkins
1999 What Are You Going to Do with Your Life? Echo & the Bunnymen
1999 Michael Hutchence Michael Hutchence
1999 Reload Tom Jones

2000s

Year Title Artist
2000 Lemonjelly.ky Lemon Jelly
2000 Ronan Ronan Keating
2000 Somewhere in the Sun: Best of the Dream Academy The Dream Academy
2001 Born Bond
2001 Crystal Days: 1979-1999 Echo & the Bunnymen
2001 Jacob Young Jacob Young
2001 Bring Down the Moon Naimee Coleman
2001 White Lilies Island Natalie Imbruglia
2001 Read My Lips Sophie Ellis-Bextor
2001 Mixed Up World Pt. 2 Sophie Ellis-Bextor
2001 They Called Him Tin Tin Stephen Duffy
2001 Mink Car They Might Be Giants
2001 Toy Matinee: Special Edition Toy Matinee
2002 Watching Angels Mend Alex Lloyd
2002 Born [Japan Bonus Tracks] Bond
2002 Shine Bond
2002 Lost Horizons Lemon Jelly
2002 Festival Paola & Chiara
2002 Mink Car They Might Be Giants
2003 Remixed [Japan Bonus Tracks] Bond
2003 Journey into Paradise Dr. Alex Paterson
2003 The Outer Marker Just Jack
2003 Shoot from the Hip Sophie Ellis-Bextor
2003 Reload [Bonus Tracks] Tom Jones
2004 Mistaken Identity Delta Goodrem
2004 Live at Montreux, 1990 Gary Moore
2005 Explosive: The Best of bond Bond
2005 A Million in Prizes: The Anthology Iggy Pop
2006 On an Island David Gilmour
2006 “Arnold Layne” (single) David Gilmour
2006 So Still Mozez
2006 Living in a Giant Candle Winking at God Transit Kings
2007 Dylanesque Bryan Ferry
2008 Live in Gdańsk David Gilmour

2010s

Year Title Artist
2010 Olympia Bryan Ferry
2011 Everything Changes Julian Lennon
2012 Concerto for Group and Orchestra Jon Lord
2014 The Endless River Pink Floyd
2014 Avonmore Bryan Ferry
2015 Rattle That Lock David Gilmour

Filmography

Year Title Director(s) Studio(s)
1990 Dick Tracy Warren Beatty Touchstone Pictures
Silver Screen Partners
Mulholland Productions
1993 Last Action Hero John McTiernan Columbia Pictures
1995 Hackers Iain Softley United Artists
1998 Still Crazy Brian Gibson Columbia Pictures
2011 Johnny English Reborn Oliver Parker StudioCanal
Relativity Media
Working Title Films

Official Website

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