When Lou Reed decided to transform his persona and musical pedigree from that of an underground artist to a bona-fide arena rocker, he enlisted guitar shredders Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, drummer Whitey Glan, keyboardist Ray Colcord, and bassist Prakash John to bring his aggressive aural vision to fruition. The result was one of rock’s greatest concert releases: Rock n Roll Animal (1974).
Louder than loud, John and the band essentially threw every motif imaginable against the wall and somehow, all of it stuck! I’ve never heard a bassist simultaneously solo and support a song – but that’s what Prakash did on that historic set of performances. With a strong foundation in his native Indian music, along with studies in classical, and a passion for rhythm & blues, John’s harmonic extensions and endless rhythmic variations within the most basic of rock chord progressions were most inventive. His soulful playing on Sally Can’t Dance helped Lou nail his only Top 10 album.
After Lou canned his Animal band, John and his mates went to work for Alice Cooper and replicated their sonic assault as heard on the live Alice Cooper Show release. Note: seek out Lou Reed Live (1975) to hear additional performances from those legendary New York Academy of Music gigs.