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Dire Straits

1977-
Mark Knopfler(vocals, guitar)
David Knopfler(guitar)1977-1980
John Illsley(bass)
Pick Withers(drums)1977-1982
Hal Lindes(guitar)1980-
Terry Williams(drums)1982-

Artistfacts for Dire Straits

  • Took the name Dire Straits because it represented their financial condition in the early days.
  • In 2001, British scientists named a dinosaur they discovered after Mark Knopfler. They named the dinosaur, which was discovered in Madagascar, "Masiakasaurus Knopfleri" as a tribute to Knopfler.
  • Mark Knopfler was a journalist and teacher before joining the band. One of his first assignments as a cub reporter for the Yorkshire Evening Post was to write Jimi Hendrix' obituary.
  • Mark Knopfler's second wife is named Lourdes. They had twin boys in 1987.
  • The band's demo cost only $175 dollars to make. The record company was so impressed that they got Spencer Davis Group bassist Muff Winwood (brother of Steve) to produce their debut album.
  • They were Princess Diana's favorite rock group.
  • Illsley once donated $750,000 to a charity to raise children's awareness of the dangers of drugs.
  • At a concert in New Zealand, the Minister of Transport called off a National Stewards' strike so they could make it to their show.
  • Before Dire Straits, David Knopfler was a social worker, and Illsley was studying sociology.
  • Mark Knopfler has worked on the soundtracks for Local Hero, Comfort and Joy, and Cal.
  • Mark Knopfler is left-handed but he plays right-handed; he says that makes him strong at vibratos. (thanks, Gary - Kumla, Sweden)
  • The were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 (the first year they were eligible), but both Knopflers declined the invitation, so they did not perform.
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Comments: 10

I thought Dire Straits is a metal rock group before I learned about them. I am 22 now and I had that idea when I was 10~ but since knowing that this group sang Money Ain't for Nothing, Walk of Life and Sultans of Swing, whoah, I realised I'm a longtime fan of theirs as I was loving those songs since I wad 5-6 ; )
I love Mark Knopfler's compositions and his singing voice because it's as if he's just speaking with emotion, not actually singing. I love that style! Only he can do that!
Shandroise De Laeken - Davao City, Philippines
Mark Knopfler is one of the few musician's musician whose talent is obvious for all to see. Soulfull as well as melodic - don't start with Brothers in Arms start with the first album.Dermot - Dublin, Ireland
"Making Movies" is one of the top 20 albums of all time. It's filled with absolutely brilliant guitar riffs.Ken - Dupont, Pa
mark knopfler is one of the greatest guitarist ever. dire straits hav the most soothing music.trully a classic bandAmey - Mumbai, India
I have to say Mark Knopfler is one of the greatest guitarists in the world and has produced and continues to produce some of the most amazing music of any era. I saw him live recently after loving his music for years and he was incredible live, words cant describe the stories he can tell with his unique style.Dave - Canberra, Australia
Dire Straits' first UK tour was as opening act for Talking Heads. Although not a punk band, the audience still liked them because they did not put on a big stadium-type show and perform long drawn-out songs, two of the main reasons why punk started and so-called "classic rock" died out.David - Torornto, Canada
Hal Lindes left in 85. Alan Clark, keyboards, joined in 82. Mel Collins played the saxophone on the Extended DancEPlay and on tours. Guy Fletcher, keyboards, joined in 85. Sting sang on Money for Nothing. Jack Sonni played guitar during the Brothers in Arms tour. In '88 Eric Clapton was their 2nd guitar player, during the Mandela Concert. During the On Every Street the band had a massive line up. Mark Knopfler, John Illsey, Alan Clark and Guy Fletcher were the only older members of the line up. New faces were: Chris White (sax, also on BiA tour), Paul Franklin (Pedal steel guitar), Phil Palmer (guitar), Danny Cummings (Percussion) and Chris Witten (drums).

Brothers in Arms, their 5th studio album, is one of the fastest selling albums in the world. One of the 10 households in the UK has a copy.

The Tina Turner song Private Dancer, used to be a Dire Straits song for the album Love Over Gold. Mark Knopfler did decided not to put it on the album and later he gave it to Tina and produced to song also. This song was Tina's come back. Alan Clark, Dire Straits' keyboard player, later featured on her tour.

Most of the Dire Straits members played on John Illsey's wedding a few years ago, this is the last concert every given. Allthough, in 2002 John Illsey appeared on some Charity shows of Mark Knopfler.

Most likely Dire Straits will never reform.
Martijn - Arnhem, Netherlands
that's a very true statement, arjun, especially after the drummer left...some of his work on their first four albums is only a step less incredible than knopfler's guitar playing...

on knopfler being a journalist, that gig ended when jimi hendrix died and, as the music features writer for his newspaper/magazine, he had to write an obituary...he started crying to hard and couldn't finish it...he never showed back up for work...i think he was still in college at the time, so it might have been a school newspaper...it's been a while since i've read that
Marvin - East Brady, Pa
"mark knopfler is dire straits",he commented when questioned about too many changes in the bandArjun - Ahmedabad, India
Mark Knopfler has worked on the soundtracks of Local Hero, Cal, Comfort & Joy, Princess Bride, Metroland, Wag the Dog, A Shot at GlorySteve - Manchester, England
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