(Boston Rock Writer Brett Milano's review of my memoir, Shiver in the Night)
Sharing his life secrets is nothing new for Andy Pratt: He’s been doing that for the past thirty years, in a string of creative and idiosyncratic albums. So as you’d expect, his biography “Shiver in the Night” is honest and unflinching as was his album of the same name. His story is a classic rock’n’roll journey: He got into music out of love, wrote a timeless song almost by accident, then hit the heights without being fully prepared. Rolling Stone declared him the future of rock, the Who’s lead singer covered his song, lovers of thoughtful songwriting took him to heart. And the sudden fame took its toll on Prattt’s relationships and his internal life. Yet for all its painful moments the story isn’t a tragic one, as the hard times led to a spiritual awakening and further musical explorations. Pratt’s book draws you right in, opening with a triumphant Boston show that was both the height of his career and a major turning point. He’s forthcoming about a privileged yet troubled childhood, and about the behind-the-scenes fallout that nearly derailed his career before it started. But you also feel his excitement at playing Beatles songs in a Harvard garage band; and the 70’s music industry where a gifted outsider could still get a major-label deal. He provides a memorable picture of Boston in the 70s, when the city was more adventurous than it is now. Pratt doesn’t let himself off the hook as he reveals failed love affairs that led to a successful one. But you also feel the confidence that hides behind his vulnerability: This is an artist who once found U2’s Bono asking if he could sing on his record, only to turn Bono down because he knew that the record didn’t need any improving. If you know Pratt’s music you’ll be fascinated by the stories behind it; and fans will be glad to know that he’s lately been performing with renewed fervor. Yet the story here is pretty much universal: Like Pratt the singer, Andy Pratt the writer hits some high and resonant notes.