Through the ‘90s and into the noughties, Pritchard gradually found himself the guitarist of choice by some pretty big – and diverse – names, among them Jimmy Barnes, Glen Shorrock of LRB, Doug Parkinson and even Olivia Newton-John. But it was his eight years playing with the late, great Billy Thorpe that consolidated his reputation as a hard-working power player, an association that took him around the country not only with Thorpe but as part of the incredibly successful Long Way To The Top tours in 2002/3, which also saw him play with Marcia Hines.
After that came stints with Nancy Kiel Band, Chris Thomas, Steve Flack’s Guitar Heroes and even residencies as a solo acoustic artist, but all through those years, he was secretly wishing to play in one band above all others, dropping seriously heavy hints every chance he could to drummer Paul DeMarco, with whom he played in Thorpie’s band when DeMarco’s other band weren’t touring. That other band? Rose Tattoo.
In July 2005, Pritchard’s dream finally came true, though, sadly, for all the wrong reasons. Slide guitarist and founding member Pete Wells had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and his chemotherapy was making it increasingly difficult for him to accommodate the rigours of touring, and there was a 30-date European tour locked in. With two weeks notice, and the endorsement of Wells himself, Dai Pritchard became a fulltime member of Rose Tattoo, proudly blazing his own chops into their musical legacy on their latest album, Blood Brothers.
“This album is our statement,” Anderson explains. “As Pete said before he passed away, ‘for all them fuckers that want us to shrivel up and die and go away – fuck ‘em!’ So we’re still out there doin’ it. So we decided to start from scratch and write a completely new album because as painful as it still is, this is a new band. New band as in we now have a new permanent player come in to play slide in Dai, and I remember when I spoke to Peter about it, he said, ‘The good thing about Dai is that he doesn’t play anything like me.’”
For a young gun who only ever wanted to be a guitar player, life doesn’t get any better.
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