Guy Pratt, the session musician who has played bass guitar for Pink Floyd since Roger Waters left in the 80’s, kindly agreed to answer questions from NPF visitors! Well, ten lucky people got their questions put forward and his answers are below.
Guy has worked with many people over the years including The Smiths, Madonna, Roxy Music and Michael Jackson. Guy has also just completed his Australian stand-up comedy tour called Breakfast of Idiots.
Judging from Guy’s answers below, he is quite eager to find a promoter in the USA!
1. Who offered you the Floyd gigs and why did you accept them? Ddebil
David asked me if I wanted to do it. I probably accepted because it was the best offer I’d ever had being a lifelong Floyd fan who’d been to practically every night of The Wall shows at Earl’s Court.
2. As a session musician do you get much creative control over what you do? David Smith
Depends on the gig. If it’s recording then I’m usually called in because they want what they think I can bring to the record.
If it’s live then it’s often a bit of both. If you just want someone who can learn a part and copy it there’s probably better people out there..
3. Were you told to primarily stick with the original bass parts or were you encouraged to bring your own stuff to the table? Olzen
I can’t really remember to be honest. I don’t think I was, as I certainly stuck a lot of my own style on the first tour, for which I’ve got a lot of stick over the years, rightfully in most cases, and I don’t think I can apologise anymore than I already have. Although no one seems to have noticed that on David’s 2006 tour I was playing all the Floyd stuff on a Precision with a pick and being more faithful to the originals than ever!
4. What is your favourite Pink Floyd song to play and why? PinkFloyd69
It’s hard to say. Some of them, like C Numb it’s always fun to play just because I love the song so much, but obviously the one’s that I played on originally, like ‘What do you want from me’ are great fun because I don’t ever feel I’m treading on anyone’s toes. ‘Sorrow’ is also good, because although David played the bass on the record I kind of feel I’ve made it my own. Echoes was actually my favourite floyd song to play and to be around David And Rick playing together like that will stay with me always.
5. Before Richard Wright’s tragic death, it was announced that he was working on a new solo album. Were you involved in it, and do you know how much of it was done and if it will ever be released posthumously? Tenniru
I can’t really comment on this too much. To be honest apart from the recordings we did at David’s in Jan 2007 I’m only aware of there being a few sketches.
6. Guy, is it true that in summer 2006 you were close to playing with David in a roman amphitheatre in Pula, Croatia, but for the technical reasons Burg Clam was chosen instead? Bran from Croatia
I have absolutely no idea. Sorry.
7. How did you come to write the original soundtrack for the television show ‘Spaced’? PI
It’s not a particularly exciting story, I ‘d been doing quite a bit of TV writing, mainly documentaries and a drama or two, and happened to know Nyra Parks who was producing it. As soon as I met Simon and Edgar I thought this sounds like a dream gig…And it was.
8. I’ve seen your name associated with The Dream Academy. Did you play on “Life In A Northern Town?” Mossy
No, there’s not actually a bass on it. I played on a lot of their records and in fact the first time I met David was when we supported him at the Birmingham Odeon in 1984.
9. Have you any plans to write another book or to release your show on DVD/through a website? Snifferdog
I’d love to write another book, as mine’s done a lot better than I expected, it’s just knowing how to do it, as I can’t really write another autobiography. I’d love to release a DVD, and there was a recording made in Adelaide, but I don’t know if it’s good enough. What I really want is an American tour as that would be the place to film one…So anyone reading….
10. Who are you listening to these days that you expect would really surprise your fans..? leahcim3360
I’ve recently joined a record club called Toccata classics who specialise in overlooked and obscure classical composers and I’m listening to stuff like Donald Tovey and Viktor Kosenko. Pretentious enough for you?
I usually just have the itunes on shuffle and tend to favour old Latin and Reggae stuff round the house..To be honest I find it hard to get excited about much new music anymore, I’ve just been disappointed too many times.
So, there you have it! If you have any thoughts, opinions or questions about the above, there is a topic on the NPF Forum for you to air your views.
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2006 has been a busy year for our favorite Floydians. David Gilmour and Roger Waters both launched a tour this year, collaborating with other members of Pink Floyd and some old friends. Nick Mason and Rick Wright were very involved this year. Nick played a few shows with Roger, and Rick played keyboards throughout David’s tour. Jon Carin was quite busy, playing as a full time member of both David and Roger’s band. I (Andrew Beale) unfortunately could not have made it to one of Gilmour’s concerts, so I got some help from azza200 to write this article who saw David twice on his tour.
David played Continental Europe, North America, and the UK on his tour. He only played 36 dates in total, a select few dates compared to Rogers numerous. The venues tended to be smaller and the tickets were expensive. Some problems with this were that for some people they had to travel far and pay a pretty high ticket price, adding up quite a bit of money.
David brought back several old friends; including Jon Carin and Rick Wright on keyboards, Guy Pratt on bass, and Dick Parry on sax. He also brought along Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music fame on guitar and Steve DiStanislao on drums.
This all star cast of musicians led to a great concert musically (as well as visually, as will be brought up later). David tours rarely so great musicianship makes it well worth the wait.
The visual aspects of Gilmour’s shows are spectacular. Lasers and strobes bring lighting nirvana to those watching. Echoes stands out by far with lasers flying everywhere. Everything you have come to expect from a Pink Floyd light show (like Pulse) is here.
Here is a personal account of the two Gilmour shows that azza200 went and saw, with some minor edits done. He has also included an experience meeting Guy Pratt, David Gilmour at Pratt’s show “My Bass and Other Animals”.
Royal Albert Hall Tuesday 30th May
Breath – Time – Breathe Reprise
On An Island album
Shine on You Crazy Diamond w/ Crosby and Nash
Fat Old Sun ( DG on Tele)
Arnold Layne (DG on Tele)
Coming Back to Life
Great Gig in the Sky w/ Mica Paris
Wish You Were Here
Find the Cost of Freedom w/ Crosby and Nash
Sitting in the Royal Albert Hall is a very special experience knowing your sitting in a room where legends have played all through the decades, including Clapton The Who etc and now David Gilmour! I am still in amazement at what I saw last night, lasers lights and strobe effects, wow! Before the band came on, Harvey Goldsmith came out to say no phones or flash cameras if you are to take pics make sure the flash is off but I saw loads of flashing cameras during the show.
The show started with the famous heartbeats of Speak to me and when Breathe started it was amazing then it went into Time where Steve Di did some brilliant drumming on the intro and David played some excellent solos on Time after Breathe.
David welcomed everyone to show and said the first half going to be all from On an Island.
David introduced the entire band after a song which I can’t remember at this time, but he introduced everyone then he mentioned the special guest I shouted out Nick Mason and David replied “Not him tonight.”
Crosby and Nash where there for the songs OAI, The Blue and Shine On. I will admit if you are not keen on the studio album the live versions beat them 20 times over. On an Island started with Crosby Nash on backing vocals. The solos David played last night were just amazing and so powerful. The Blue started with a single blue laser which slowly moved during the song. The song I was least looking forward to was Red Sky at Night with David on sax but after seeing it played live I actually like it now and Robert Wyatt came on to reprise his role from the album which was really nice to see.
One of the songs I was looking forward to seeing from the first half was Take A Breath, and boy the lightshow on this was awesome. When it got to the middle bit the entire Royal Albert Hall was flashing from the strobe lights! Then David came back in with his guitar which was so powerful and rocking and was David at his best! The first half ended with Where We Start and was a nice track to end with very mellow and bluesy and the David said there was going to be a 20 minute break.
The break ended and the 2nd set kicked off with a brilliant version of Shine On played to perfection. Phil Manzeneras guitar on this is so haunting, but also very powerful. Crosby and Nash again on vocals. The song ended with a standing ovation. I thought David was going to play Wearing the Inside out but didn’t, he played Fat Old Sun which was just exceptional. Halfway through the song David changed from his acoustic guitar to his white telecaster for the solo on FOS which was awe inspiring solo. I loved every second of it then they went straight into Arnold Layne which was quality as ever, Rick sure can sing and had most people singing along. I was, I will admit as this is the closest I am ever going to get to seeing Pink Floyd. The song ended with most of audience standing up clapping.
Then straight into Coming Back to Life and some people before it started shouted out “One Slip” but I then shouted out “Sorrow, On the Turning Away” but then as David was playing around with his foot pedals one of his children said “go on daddy” as I think Polly and his children were by the mixing desk.
Coming Back to Life was beautiful as ever and a really classy good solo. I was thinking it can’t get any better then this and it did, High Hopes was just brilliant and played really beautifully. Then came the special guest of the evening, Mica Paris, to sing on Great Gig. It was nice but not a surprise guest in the same league as David Bowie, but none the less it was a good performance from her. Shame it wasn’t Sam Brown.
The one song I really wanted to see was of course Echoes and boy it sure does live up to its reviews as one of the best performances ever! The light show was awe inspiring and the lasers were cleaver and mesmerizing. When the song started up, the 23 minutes or so went past so quick Ii wanted them back. I’m so glad I got see that song with my own eyes and Echoes is my favorite Floyd song ever now. It ended with a 5 min or so standing ovation from the crowd. Then they came back on stage for the final encore of Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb. During Wish You Where Here you could hear a pin drop as most people were singing along to David. it ended and David said time for one more and you all know what it is and the band went straight into Comfortably Numb and was another tight performance of the song as ever the final solo though was awesome back of your neck hair stand on edge stuff it was that good.
The show was brilliant and what a place to see a band live the Royal Albert Hall it had an awesome atmosphere through the whole show you get your moneys worth with David for sure. Can Roger’s tour beat this? Well he doesn’t have Echoes!
I have to say out of the few Concerts i have been too last nights one is the best ever without a doubt the David joked with audience here and there it felt surreal being in the same room with all the people i look up too and respect and to be in a room with them a feet away from is a feeling hard to explain. When David started singing Shine On and High Hopes i was singing pretty much the same time as him.
But the thing what made it even more amazing for me was me and justdawning hanged around out by the bar and we eventually got David to sign some of are stuff.
As I was up close to David i said to him you have inspired me to play guitar and he said “great well done keep it up”, and I asked him to shake my hand and he did OMG I spoke to David Gilmour my idol/hero and shook his hand I still cant believe it.
Guy Pratt came down after David had gone back to his family and friends and signed autographs just as he was going back to the bar i asked to shake his hand and he did another OMG moment it was weird seeing Guy in person as i am so used to seeing him on DSOT and Pulse.
Then a few minutes later Dick Parry came down and signed some autographs I got my ticket signed, shook his hand and I said I am honored to meet you, and he said nice to meet you too. Again, disbelief, an amazement moment.
After that I and justdawning went outside to tell our parents on our phones what had just happened, then we went backstage and hanged around for a while when Jon Carin came out and signed some of our stuff. That was surreal for me speaking to someone who I have only ever seen on TV and pictures and here I am face to face with saying nice to meet you etc.
Then about 15-25 minutes later Rick Wright came out and there was a crowd which had been building up while we was there. Justdawning tried to get Ricks autograph but the security guys said no more and Rick got in the car with Jon and Dick Parry funnily enough was a little bit confused into which car he getting into. I think he was staying in the same hotel with Jon and Rick.
Time then was around 10.25 and I had to go as I had train to catch back to Paddington and back home to Slough. Walking to the tube I was in shock a little as to what I had seen the last few hours and what I had got signed. On the train home I read the MOJO Magazine I had got with now David’s autograph in it and read the interview David had done for the mag. As I was reading it I had Live8 on my mp3 player and then I was home after one of the most amazing and brilliant night ever.
That’s my story of after the show in the bar area and backstage of the venue hope you enjoyed reading it guys.
Guy Pratt – My Bass And Other Animals
I arrive at the venue in Windsor at around 8 o clock, it’s a lousy night. Raining for a half hour till the show starts I chill in the bar area for 10 minutes. At 8.15 we get let into the auditorium and I find my seat front row A9. I see some other audience members bring pints of beer in so I get myself one ready for the show. I get my pint and sit down waiting for it to start with The Clash playing on the speakers.
I’m taking in the stage, the bass guitar and Stratocaster, and who happens to walk by which catches me by surprise and shock but Phil the magnificent Manzenera. I’m like “oh my god what is he doing here” but thinking “cool wasn’t expecting that.” It gets better less then 2 minutes later shock amazement and disbelief, who walks past none other then David Gilmour ,Polly Samson ,Jon Carin and Steve Di! Now this is a major big deal for me again as I was not expecting them to be here as I didn’t think they went to all of Guy’s solo shows.
The show starts and Guy talks about how he started playing bass guitar. He picks up Betty, the same bass guitar he uses on One of These Days on DSOT video (god I’m sad to know the name of his bass guitar) Guy jokes with us, oh and Guy smokes which surprised me a lot.
As the show goes on he talks about time with David Bowie, Whitesnake, and then gets to the main part which everyone is looking forward to, Pink Floyd (yay!). He describes how we would be like when the second set starts he plays an excerpt of One of These Days and does a bit of how he was on the AMLOR tour. He plays a bit of the Money intro too which gets a massive round of the applause.
The show ends at about 9.45ish and I see David Gilmour chatting to some people. I want to but I don’t, I’m still by my seat at this time David leaves with Polly and Steve and Phil Manzenera and I see Jon Carin and I say “Hi Jon” he says “Hi how are you” I say I’m good and I say to him I met you before at the Mermaid Theatre in March he remembers me and asks my name and I say Aaron and he says nice to meet you again Aaron he goes off through a separate door. I go out through a different door.
Then about 5 minutes later I’m hanging around in the bar area and I see through a little window Phil Manzenera’s back to me and I’m like “hmmmm can I get up there?” I walk back to where I was about standing 2 hours before no mean bouncers around what so ever I might add. And standing a few feet away from is David Gilmour from Pink Floyd and his wife Polly Samson. Guy Pratt is talking to some women, beside me is Steve Di and he says Hi to me and I say Hi back.
Then I notice David signing some posters and I’m like “shit wish I had something to get signed.” I say to Guy nice show really enjoyed it and he says thank you. David Gilmour is in my line of sight and I ask Guy if I could get my picture taken with David and him. Guys like “yeah sure no problem” and asks David and David has no problem with it and, well, I get my picture taken with them both. I say thank you to both of them and shake their hands for the 2nd time!
I manage to bag a poster to get signed. I get chatting to Guy and he says he is writing a book now. I ask Guy how Scott Page is and he says he was at one of the LA Shows and still has the “Uber Mullet” and still looks the same. Shook his hand again and David and the band go into the bar area.
For me I’m in Floyd heaven for the 2nd time in 3 months OMG!! And having met David again which I’m shocked about, just knowing he is in my local area is an awesome big deal and amazing.
I go outside for some air its still raining I ring my mum up to pick me up. So I go back inside the bar area and I notice sitting in the bar in the far corner is David, Polly, Guy, Jon, and Steve and I swear David looks at me a few times lol. 10 minutes pass and I leave after one of the most surreal nights I have been too.
The mermaid theater was good but this tops it by miles as there was not any bouncers, it was a very casual laid back venue, David is in very good shape I must say. Guy Pratt is a very funny man and really nice to chat too. It was so strange being in the same room as them again. I also saw Polly taking some photos so they might be on David’s site or something.
I also noticed that the one of the people with David had a camera. I got speaking to the person with camera and asked if Guys shows were going to be released on DVD, he said he didn’t know so I asked if they might be an extra with David’s DVD and he said maybe but they don’t know. We will see when the tour DVD comes out.
Roger played Europe and North America this year. He played a large number of dates, much more than David did, in many different cities. Both legs of the tour (Euro and NA) contained 21 dates. The tickets were cheaper than David’s, going for about $130US for the seats close to the front (though many of the first few rows were sold by auction for over $200US) and there were much more venues so travel was not so much of a hassle.
Roger has already released dates for a 2007 tour spanning across Australia and a return to Europe!
Roger brings back several old friends on this tour. The familiar faces include Snowy White on the Goldtop, Andy Fairwether-Low on guitar and bass, Jon Carin on keyboards and guitar, Graham Broad on drums, and PP Arnold and Carol Kenyon and Katie Kisson on backing vocals. Roger’s son, Harry Waters, is playing additional keyboards and the Hammond organ. Roger replaced Doyle with David Kilminster, who is just as flashy but is a great guitar player. Nick Mason also appears in a few shows playing Dark Side of The Moon and Encores. Roger’s tour is as good musically as it has always been, and the atmosphere is amazing when you hear these talented musicians play our favorite Floyd and solo classics!
Roger has improved greatly on his In the Flesh visuals in effects, which were a bore to see. He has included pyrotechnics, more lights, and much better visuals on the screen behind him.
The pyrotechnics are a wonderful addition to the show. The show opens with In the Flesh where on the first note sparks fly! At the end of Sheep flames leap across the stage! During Bring the Boys Back Home there is a cool effect of land mines being set off in the background. The fire adds a great effect onto Roger’s fiery attitude towards politics and other issues!
The visuals on the screen have been much improved from his last tour. Throughout the show there is footage of a man smoking a cigarette and changing stations on an old fashioned radio. This footage takes place as segways into the different songs during the first set. During Leaving Beirut there is a wonderful set of comics that were drawn up for Roger by Bill Sienkiewicz, and depict Roger’s story about being taken in by an Arab couple. During Dark Side there were several wonderful videos depicted on a fake Mr. Screen. During Shine On and Wish You Were here powerful images of Syd and flowers were projected.
There were numerous other special effects in this show. Roger used some inflatables, an astronaut during A Perfect Sense and a Pig with several anti-Bush/anti-Republican phrases written all over it. Bubbles fell on the audience during Shine On and a wheel of fire was displayed during Comfortably Numb (wheel of fire was only used during the European tour).
Tweeter Center – Mansfield, MA – 9/9/06
Wow! I couldn’t believe the day was finally here when I would go see my idol live “In the Flesh”.
My family and I got there just in time for the concert and it was PACKED. Almost every seat was full that night at the Tweeter Center. I would say that about ten thousand people were there, and he also played a show the night before to about fifteen thousand people.
The concert started with In the Flesh. Fireworks from the roof and the floor came shooting out when the first note was played! Everyone went crazy! As most of us should know from the constant set list, Mother was played next. This performance was perfect. Katie Kissoon impresses me yet again with her vocal solo singing the part of Pink’s mom. Besides some guy yelling “Go Fuck Your Mom”, it was an awesome experience. Then Set the Controls segued in. This was when everyone started smoking the pot. Guys all around me lit up joints and sang along. I am having a great time at this point! Then one of the moments I was waiting for came, Shine On. This song is my dad’s favorite Pink Floyd song so it was a wonderful moment for him to see! Pics of Syd were projected and everyone sang along and remembered him.
Have a Cigar came next, and I started to notice the way that Roger is synching the songs together using video of a man changing radio stations. I thought this clever addition was a pretty good idea on Roger’s part or the people behind the scenes. Kilminster did a tremendous job on the solo, sounding like Gilmour himself were there in front of me.
Wish You Were Here started with the radio sequence, everyone heard it and went crazy, taking out their lighters. I unfortunately didn’t have a lighter cause I thought the security was going to be tight, so I waved my Phone around. Everyone was teary as a big pic of Syd appeared on the screen and rose pedals fell over the image.
Then Southampton Dock started. I forgot how much I liked the underrated songs from The Final Cut. The lyrics always impact me as some of the best that Roger has ever done. A couple of people didn’t recognize the song and started to get up for refreshments, their loss!
I was really disappointed that Roger let go of The Gunners Dream, because that has always been one of my favorites off The Final Cut. The Fletcher Memorial Home began, and I felt alone when I was one of the only people there who knew the song. Then the “Stop Daves” started. Everyone flipped because they loved the song, which surprised me because I didn’t that that many people were knowledgeable of Roger’s solo work (thinking that most of the people in the audience were those unknowledgeable fans there just cause of Pink Floyd and Dark Side). Great vocals from PP Arnold as usual in part one, and a great new visual of the nuclear sub in the background of Part Two.
Leaving Beirut got a couple boos but a majority of the people gave loud cheers (wouldn’t expect many boos from such a liberal state as Massachusetts). Andy played a bluesy Intro and Outro, which really shows why he is such a great choice as a backing musician.
Sheep sounds came from all directions from Roger’s amazing 360 degree sound system. The pig sure enough came out about halfway through the song, with several anti-bush phrases on it. The most stand out phrase was “impeach bush” written across the rump roast.
Fifteen minutes break and the heartbeats start. Breathe seemed to start way too quickly. It was great with Jon Carin and Dave Kilminster leading the vocals. On the Run was special surprise. I never seem to enjoy this song; it is one of the few that I skip. Roger added some sound effects like cars and trains speeding by. The visuals were cleverly designed, as rainbows leaped through a sort of wormhole. Time was great, with Roger singing the verses and Jon and Dave taking care of the verses. Kilminster sounded very similar to Gilmour on the solo. The Great Gig in the Sky was one of the best performances of the night. Carol Kenyon belted out the “vocals” beautifully and was given a massive round of applause and a standing ovation at the end. Money was pretty good…as usual…what u usually hear on most live sets. Us & Them was Jon Carin’s headline of the night, singing the verses and choruses wonderfully. Any Colour You Like was great, with Kilminster’s guitar playing sounding great. Brain Damage and Eclipse was basically a big sing along, the crowd being dominant for sound.
A little break and out they come, and Roger introduced all the band members and they gave a little bow as their name was called. Happiest Days of Our Lives began with the helicopter noise coming from all directions. This is where most of the crowd went nuts, what a surprise for those so called “fans” that were just there for Another Brick in the Wall. Another Brick in the Wall turned into a big sing along and I ended up liking the song more than usual, which is what is really great about a Roger Waters Concert, he can make even your least favorite songs sound great. Vera started and some people were singing a long, and for others it was a big surprise. Bring the Boys Back home was one of the greatest moments of the night, even though it is a somewhat boring song. Graham Broad was beating the snare to a pulp, and pyrotechnics were set off and looked like landmines! The knocks and “time to go” voice rang throughout the whole venue. The crowd stood up and everyone sang along. Roger messed up and forgot to sing “relax” and went straight to “I need some information…” which was forgivable and his talented musicians were able to make up for the couple seconds lost and synced back up with the song.
The night was brilliant, and I feel bad for anyone who wasn’t able to get out and see a Roger Waters show this year. If there are tickets available BUY THEM! This show was worth even the largest sum of money.
The tours of David Gilmour and Roger Waters in 2006 are one to remember. Both Floydians played their heart out with extreme enthusiasm to please their fans. They seemed to love it and Roger Waters is even extending his tour into 2007! Fans have a lot to be grateful for, and two massive and amazing tours are a pleaser. Through several rumors of reunions and new albums by Pink Floyd, the fans can rest assured that their favorite musicians can still rock a great show.
This year was a great one for Floyd fans when it came to touring, but a rather sad and unfortunate event happened this year. The co-founding member of Pink Floyd and original creative genius, Syd Barrett, passed away this July at the age of 60. A diabetes related illness is proposed to be the cause of death. A private family funeral was held and Pink Floyd released a statement stating “The band is naturally very upset and sad to learn of Syd Barrett’s death. Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire.” Shine On You Crazy Diamond!