Pratt performing live in Munich,
3 January 1962 |
Lambeth, London, England
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), 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.
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.
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".
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.
Pratt won a Grammy Award in 1995 for "Marooned", an instrumental track on Pink Floyd's 1994 album The Division Bell. He has also been nominated for two Ivor Novello Awards and was awarded an ARIA Award for his work with Icehouse.
Pratt is the author of a book:
- My Bass and Other Animals (2007), Orion ISBN 978-0752893358