Category: Band

Questions for Guy

My favourite Pink Floyd bassist, the ever-lovely Guy Pratt, has kindly offered to answer some more of your questions. So, if there’s something you’ve been wondering, now’s your chance to ask.

So that everyone gets a fair opportunity of having a question answered, please submit no more than three.

Guy took part in a Q&A session for us back in 2006, so you might like to remind yourself of the questions he was asked. Here are the ones he answered. (Didn’t he do well?)

Thanks again, Guy.

Which was your favourite venue/gig during the ‘On an Island’ tour? (KenF) All of them. Although Gdańsk was a bit special… As was Venice.

What were the stand-out moments from the ‘On an Island’ tour? (Victor) It was one big stand-out moment. I really can’t express just how great it was, the combination of friends, family, great crew, great music, lovely venues and great audiences.

Did the rest of the band have any input to the set list for the ‘On an Island’ tour or did David decide? (Andy) We were asked for suggestions, but then basically ignored.

On the Summer Tour 2006, David took the train from Linz to Munich. Did you and the other band members also travel by train? (Werner) We did, and were none too happy when we found out that our six-hour two-train journey only took two hours by road…

Where can I get me a ‘Didn’t They Do Well?’ T-shirt?! (Julie Gunn Davies) Savage London on Portobello Road knocked them up for me.

How can you sum up the ‘On an Island’ Tour journey? (Patoch’) Too short.

What did you get Rick for Father’s Day? (Matt Parish) Nothing, seeing as he’s not my father. It’s not a big day ’round our house, to be honest.

Do you get along with your father-in-law and have you ever purchased any of his solo efforts? (John NFF) It is extraordinary that anyone thinks I would actually say I didn’t get on with Rick on a public forum. So, yes, I do. I have been around the world with him four times, and even sailed the Atlantic with him; I truly love the man… I did actually buy ‘Wet Dream’, but by the time ‘Broken China’ came out I was with Gala, so we got given one.

How did you happen to meet David? (Gian Luca) Through Dream Academy and then Bryan Ferry.

Were you a Pink Floyd fan during your teenage years? (IMcK) I went to ‘The Wall’ shows at Earl’s Court: front row, every night, both years, once on Acid. I knew then it was the best show I would ever see… and it’s quite sad that, 26 years later, I was right.

What’s your absolute favourite Pink Floyd or David Gilmour song? (Bas Swanenberg) ‘Comfortably Numb’, ‘I Can’t Breathe Anymore’.

What did you think about Roger playing with Pink Floyd at Live8? (Beau) I was all for it, it was high time they sorted things out, although sadly David asked me to play on ‘Wish You Were Here’ and I had to say no as I was booked to play in Berlin with Roxy Music. That wasn’t easy, I tell you. We’d finished and were having dinner by the time Floyd went on, but there was no telly, so I was getting running commentary text messages from practically everyone I know every 10 seconds. I didn’t get to see it ’til about two weeks later.

Is it true that Roger Waters asked you to play bass on his ‘Amused To Death’ album? (Werner) Good question! Roger didn’t, but his producer, my dear friend Pat Leonard, did. I asked David if it would be OK, and of course he said yes, but I think Pat bottled out of asking Roger… Probably for the best, as I live over here, if you know what I mean.

Which is the Pink Floyd song you most enjoy playing? (Lucia) ‘Echoes’.

On ‘Time’, was it your idea to mute the bass strings during the drum sequence? (Frank Par) No. What do you think they did for the 14 years between recording it and me turning up?

Do you play original bass lines to Pink Floyd songs or do you create your own interpretation? (Beau) I used to mess with them occasionally – just to keep busy, you understand – but the wisdom of age has taught me otherwise, and I cringe hearing some of the things I used to do. I’ve actually been more faithful to the originals on this tour than I ever was with Pink Floyd.

What’s the most difficult David Gilmour or Pink Floyd track for you to play live? (IMcK) I used to hate ‘Us And Them’ because the bass line was so boring, but then David gave me a harmony to sing and I was happy.

Do you think nowadays there could be any new band with such unique sound and ideas like Pink Floyd? (Gian Luca) No.

Since touring since the mid ’80s with the Floyd, which tour has been the most memorable and why? (Andy) The ’87-’88 tour probably, because I’d never been part of anything like it. It was every young man’s dream, although I probably remember more of this last one, as I go to bed these days. Although I did have to be dragged out of bed in Manchester.

Would you do another Pink Floyd tour? (Bill S.) Yes.

On Lemon Jelly’s remarkable album ‘Lost Horizons’ I spotted your name in the credits of the wonderful track entitled ‘Nice Weather for Ducks’. What was your role on this track? Did you play bass? (Julie Gunn Davies) Yes, isn’t that what I usually do? My duck call isn’t up to much.

Being somewhat of an Icehouse fan, I have to ask how that experience compares with working with David and the Floyd? (Erik) I haven’t got the first idea of how to answer that. But before the first show of this tour, Jon Carin and Steve DiStanislao got to be in Icehouse for a day, as I’d been asked to do a TV show with Iva in Germany, and he asked if I could put a band together. So we went to Munchen and mimed ‘Hey Little Girl’.

Who was the one person that influenced you the most? (Renee B.) My father.

Do you plan to do a little more on the singing side? I would love to hear more of your distinctive voice. I know it’s more yelling than singing that you do, but I love it. (Karen) Why, thank you, Karen. I’m only really happy as a backing singer, to be honest. Unless it’s shouting, of course.

What was your most musically challenging session gig? (EchoesBob) I remember doing something for Jeff Beck a few years back that kept me on my toes. When I played on the score of ‘The Last Action Hero’, Michael Kamen did actually ask me to play something that, after a few tries, I had to confess I just couldn’t.

What is your most memorable gig and why? (Tim C) Venice with Pink Floyd. Because we were on a bloody great oil rig in the lagoon.

Are you involved with your father-in-law’s next album? (KenF) I hope so.

You’re well known for playing with a number of established bands and artists. Have you ever had the desire to start your very own band and take the world of music by storm, or are you happy enough with your solo show as it stands now? (Neil Pudney) I was about to start a band with Johnny Marr, as The Smiths had just imploded, when I first got the call from David back in ’87. Now I’m too lazy and old and don’t have a manifesto.

Will there be more dates of your one man show, maybe in Europe? (Bas Swanenberg) Yes.

Is it possible to bring your show to North America? (Bill S.) I hope so.

Where else are you touring your ‘My Bass and Other Animals’ in the new year? (KenF) Everywhere hopefully. Check my site:

I’ve heard lots of great things about ‘My Bass and Other Animals’ but living in Canada I will not have an opportunity to catch one of the shows. Just wondering if there is any chance you will record any of the performances for a DVD release? (Christopher Martin) Probably, but I hope to get to Canada.

What made you decide to try the trial by silence that is stand-up? (Kieran Fleck) I’ve always wanted to do something comedic, and realised I had a rich seam of material to mine, i.e. my life, but if I’d thought about how terrifying standing up on your own actually is, I would never have done it. I get absolutely terrified every time I do it still.

You mentioned the other day that you have a book coming up next year. What will it be about? Is it like a memoir or something not as personal? (Ayako) It’s like a memoir, although it’s like the show, in that it’s basically just the amusing bits of my life.

What are listening to right now (or if not right now, what’s your current listening)? (Nickster) Right now? Celia Cruz, ‘Queen of Latin Rhythm’. (That’s the album title, not an opinion.)

You’ve played with some of the most famous bands in the world since you were just a boy. Has the young Guy ever had the anxiety of performance, playing close to those geniuses of music and in so many different styles (from Pink Floyd to Roxy Music and so on)? How much have you studied for that, or did you do that just using your heart? (Lucia) Young, maybe. Old, no. I didn’t really study for either of those artists as it was music I knew and loved anyway. That’s if I understood the question.

Are you familiar with My Morning Jacket, from Kentucky? (Will) No. Should I be?

With which band would you like to perform in the future? (Kees Nijpels) The Who, Peter Gabriel.

If you could play bass for any musician (not including any member of Pink Floyd or anyone you may have played with in the past) either alive or dead, who would it be? (Dom) Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Syd Barrett, Jimi Hendrix.

Who inspired you to pick up the bass? (Bas Swanenberg) John Entwistle.

Who is your favourite other bass player? (Tim C) Bernard Edwards.

If you had to choose just one, which is your absolutely favourite bass line of all time? (Nickster) ‘Good Times’ or ‘Forget Me Nots’ by Patrice Rushen. Or any number of Disco classics, which I’m afraid to say is where I think all the greatest bass lines are. Or ‘Teentown’ by Weather Report, or ‘What’s Goin’ On’, or any number of Studio 1 Reggae classics, or practically any Bob Marley song, or ‘The Real Me’ by The Who, or…

Do you like playing guitar the same way as bass? (Gian Luca) No, I’m not as good. I really like playing guitar, but not the same way at all.

Was the bass your first instrument? (TomiSue) I did briefly wrestle with the clarinet previously.

What’s you preferred bass guitar? (Dom) Fender Jazz.

Do you play any acoustic basses? (Peter McConnell) I’m going to get a Double Bass as I enjoyed the stand-up on tour so much. I do have a Bass Balalaika, which I played on the soundtrack for ‘The Wings of a Dove’.

Stand-up acoustic bass or electric bass? I know different songs have different requirements, but just kicking about. (John NFF) I love the stand-up because it limits me so much, and it’s basically a new experience, even though I’ve had the bloody thing for 24 years.

What FX (Pete Cornish board?) did you use during the ‘On an Island’ tour? (Ernest Peske) No, I don’t have one of David’s cast-offs, if that’s what you mean. But I do have… Avalon DI, Ernie Ball Volume Pedal, Demeter Compulator Compressor, Ashdown Bass Overdrive Plus, MXR Phase 90, Boss CE-2B Bass Chorus, Boss OC-2 Octave, Boss DD-5 Digital Delay, Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer, Boss T4-2 Tuner (2), Boss SCC-700 Pedal Controller, Roland SDE 3000 Digital Delay, Melody Evidence Audio Guitar cables. God bless cut and paste!

What is the deal with the alembic preamps? Do they really make that much of a difference? I know the Big D uses them, but I was wondering if they really make that much of a difference. (Shawn Madden) I’ve never played through one, but I did used to have a Trace Elliot thing that was a copy, although to be honest I don’t like too much of a “valvey” sound on my bass. Peter Hook swears by them, too.

I know what basses you use, what amps and cabs you use, but I’d like to know what do you have on you pedalboard. (Alex) See above.

Who’s your all-time favourite Arsenal player? (Victor) I was going to say Charlie George or Denis Bergkamp, but you just can’t argue with Thierry, can you?

Who is your favorite comedian? (Matt Parish) Peter Cook.

Your favourite album of all time is…? (Dom) Quadrophenia.

Who is your favourite musician? (Bill S.) David Gilmour, Pete Townshend.

Do you have a favorite David Gilmour guitar solo? (Gus) ‘Comfortably Numb’, although ‘Young Lust’ is surprisingly my second. I bet I’m the only person in the world who thinks that.

What was your least favourite subject at school? (EW) Maths.

Can I ask you some titles of your favourite books? (Lucia) The Master and Margarita, The Heart of a Dog… Mikail Bulgakov. The Erl King, The Four Wise Men… Michel Tournier. Stoned… Andrew Loog Oldham. Long Time Gone… David Crosby. Lucky Jim… Kingsley Amis. And hundreds of various Amis, Marquez, Allende etc. etc.

What’s your favourite curry? (George Maciver) Vindaloo, of course. Even though it isn’t.

Who is your favourite, already deceased, person in music history? (Ernest Peske) Impossible. Do you have any idea how many people in music history are dead? Stravinsky, Machito, Sibelius, Keith Moon, Robert Palmer, Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, Bernard Edwards, George Harrison… I could go on all night.

Did you ever play any of the original Tomb Raider games? (George Maciver) No, but I know someone who found a way to make her repeatedly bang into the wall and moan in a way that was supposedly erotic.

Margaritas. Frozen or Iced? (Rudders) Iced.

Have you ever been sideswiped by any pigs on the wing onstage? (Beau) Now you’re being silly.

Holidays. Beach or Adventure? (Rudders) Adventure with the missus, Beach with child. Although we did drag him around Cambodia, which was fairly adventurous.

Did you know for an extra 50p your trainers come in a deluxe edition with shoe laces? (Gary Hurley) Actually Converse John Varvates are a deluxe edition, as they are elasticated and the holes are ornamental. Ner ner ne ner ner…

Blogs. Yours or DG’s? (Rudders) DG’s every time.

What do you want to be when you grow up? (George Maciver) A Lion Tamer!