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Friday, 31 October 2008

Rocktastic: Guy Pratt's 'My Bass and Other Animals'

Matey, blokey memoir of an itinerant and highly enviable musical life in the studio and on the road over the last thirty years or so with some of the biggest names in rock. Guy Pratt is the sideman's sideman, far from shy but not desperately seeking the spotlight at the centre stage either. So this isn't the usual stodgy soup-to-nuts account of life with one band, as so many rock memoirs are, but rather, a delightful dim sum of stories from his life as a kind of rock and roll Zelig, backing up Icehouse, Roxy Music, Robert Palmer, Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Power Station, Jimmy Page and the proverbial host of others, on all kinds and sizes of stages and in some of the most famous studios in the world. 

Very much the main course dish in this buffet is the Floyd, for whom Guy 'has been' Roger Waters when occasion has called over many years (even backing him up from the side of the stage at Live 8). What makes it work is an endearing modesty - 'wot, me?' could almost act as a subtitle to 'My Bass...' - a gift for the telling anecdote and a sharp wit - there's some ripely funny stories in this book. A great insight too into what goes on backstage in the studios and on the road (Guy has never been shy about partaking in all that's on offer to the touring musician but seems to have kept his marbles and his ego under control throughout). All in all, a rollicking good read - and a rocktastically, enviably good life...


  1. A bass player's lot is to be unnoticed - until you write a book! I think Guy is married to Rick Wright's daughter, which must have cemented his position somewhat.

  2. He is married to Rick's daughter Gaia, but in fairness he seems to have been well-established in the Floyd camp before chancing his arm with the late and lamented piana-player's daughter.

    I'm worried. All my correspondents are bass players. What does this say about me (and the company I keep)? It'll be McCartney next...

  3. Believe me, getting involved with Gala did nothing to ensure Guy's job security, quite the opposite in fact. It was a nail biting time for him and really had to work out, which 1 child and 12 years of marriage later, it seems to have...

  4. You seem to have quite an inside track, Guy...