Dire Straits

Dire Straits

Band Members

Mark Knopfler (b. August 12, 1949, Glasgow, Scotland): guitars, vocals. 1977 – 1993.

David Knopfler (b. December 27, 1952, Glasgow, Scotland): guitars. 1977 – 1980.

John Illsley (b. June 24, 1949, Leicester, England): bass. 1977 – 1993.

Alan Clark (b. March 5, 1952, Great Lumley, County Durham, England): keyboards. 1982 – 1993.

Guy Fletcher (b. May 24, 1960, Maidstone, England): keyboards. 1985 – 1993.

Chris White (b. July 13, 1955, Bristol, England): saxophone. 1985 – 1993.

Hal Lindes (b. June 30, 1953, Monterey, CA, USA): guitars. 1982 – 1986.

Terry Williams (b. January 11, 1948, Swansea, South Wales): drums. 1983 – 1986.

David “Pick” Withers (b. April 4, 1948, Leicester, England): drums. 1977 – 1983.

Jack Sonni (b. December 9, 1954, Indiana, PA, USA): guitars. 1984.

 

Biographical Sketch

Dire Straits were a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), his younger brother David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). Dire Straits’ sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band’s early years, the band’s stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more “rootsy” influence that emerged out of pub rock. Many of Dire Straits’ compositions were melancholic. Dire Straits’ biggest selling album, Brothers in Arms, has sold over 30 million copies.

They also became one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million. Dire Straits won numerous music awards during their career, including four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards – winning Best British Group twice, and two MTV Video Music Awards. The band’s most popular songs include Sultans of SwingLady WriterRomeo and JulietTunnel of LoveTelegraph RoadPrivate InvestigationsMoney for NothingWalk of LifeSo Far AwayYour Latest Trick and Brothers in Arms.

Dire Straits’ career spanned a combined total of 15 years. The band originally split up in 1988, but reformed in 1991. Dire Straits disbanded for good in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his career full time as a solo artist. There were several changes in personnel over both periods, leaving Mark Knopfler and John Illsley as the only two original bandmates who had remained throughout the band’s career.

Read more about Dire Straits on Wikipedia.

 

Major Awards and Honors

Hall of Fame Inductions
Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame
  • 2018: Dire Straits (Alan Clark, Guy Fletcher, John Illsley, David Knopfler, Mark Knopfler, Pick Withers)
Others
Grammies
  • 1985: Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal – “Money For Nothing”
    Grammy awarded to: Dire Straits (Alan Clark, Guy Fletcher, John Illsley, Mark Knopfler, Terry Williams), artist.
  • 1986: Best Music Video, Short Form – “Brothers In Arms”
    Grammy awarded to: Dire Straits (Alan Clark, Guy Fletcher, John Illsley, Mark Knopfler, Terry Williams), artist.
  • 2005: Best Surround Sound Album – “Brothers In Arms, 20th Anniversary Edition”
    Grammy awarded to: Chuck Ainlay, surround mix engineer; Bob Ludwig, surround mastering engineer. Chuck Ainlay & Mark Knopfler, surround producers.
MTV Video Music Awards
  • 1986: Video of the Year – “Money for Nothing”
  • 1986: Best Group Video – “Money for Nothing”
BRIT Awards
  • 1983: Best British Group
  • 1986: Best British Group
  • 1987: Best British Album – “Brothers in Arms”
Silver Clef Awards (Great Britain)
  • 1985
PRS for Music Heritage Award (Great Britain)
  • 2009
Juno Awards (Canada)
  • 1986: International Album of the Year – “Brothers in Arms”
Rolling Stone Magazine
  • 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time: #44 – Mark Knopfler
  • 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: #352 – “Brothers in Arms”
  • 100 Best Albums of the Eighties: #52 – “Making Movies”

 

Discography

Band Releases
  • Dire Straits (1978)
  • Communiqué (1979)
  • Making Movies (1980)
  • Live at the BBC (1981)
  • Love Over Gold (1982)
  • Alchemy (Live) (1983)
  • Brothers in Arms (1985)
  • Money for Nothing (1988)
  • On Every Night (1991)
  • On the Night (1993)
  • Live at the BBC (1995)
  • Sultans of Swings: The Very Best of Dire Straits (1998)
  • Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler (2005)
Mark Knopfler’s Solo Releases
David Knopfler’s Solo Releases
  • Release (1983)
  • Behind the Lines (1985)
  • Cut the Wire (1986)
  • Lips Against the Steel (1988)
  • Lifelines (1991)
  • The Giver (1993)
  • Small Mercies (1995)
  • Wishbones (2001)
  • Ship of Dreams
  • Songs for the Siren
  • Anthology: 1983-2008 (2009)
    – Released in the USA.
  • Acoustic (2011)
    – With Harry Bogdanovs.
Guy Fletcher’s Solo Releases
Albums
  • On the Big Hill (1988)
    – With Brendan Croker.
  • Inamorata (2008)
  • Stone (2008)
  • Natural Selection (2010)
Soundtracks and Soundtrack Contributions
  • Tooth (2004)
  • Sergeant Pepper (2004)
  • Spirit Trap (2005)
  • Niagara Motel (2005)

 

 

 

From the Lyrics

Brothers in Arms

“There’s so many different worlds, so many different suns. And we have just one world, but we live in different ones.”

Romeo and Juliet

(Album: Making Movies)

“A lovestruck Romeo sings a streetsuss serenade
Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
Finds a streetlight, steps out of the shade
Says something like, ‘You and me babe, how about it?’

Juliet says, ‘Hey it’s Romeo, you nearly gimme me a heart attack.
He’s underneath the window,’ she’s singing, ‘hey la my boyfriend’s back.
You shouldn’t come around here singing up at people like that
Anyway what you gonna do about it?’

‘Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
And I bet and you exploded in my heart
And I forget, I forget the movie song
When’re you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong – Juliet?

Come up on different streets, they both were streets of shame
Both dirty, both mean, yes and the dream was just the same.
And I dreamed your dream for you and now your dream is real
How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals?

When you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
You promised me everything, you promised me thick and thin, yeah
Now you just say, oh Romeo, yeah, you know I used to have a scene with him

Juliet, when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above, I’ll love you till I die
And there’s a place for us, you know the movie song
When’re you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong – Juliet?

I can’t do the talk like they talk on the TV
And I can’t do a love song like the way it’s meant to be
I can’t do everything but I’d do anything for you
I can’t do anything except be in love with you

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All I do is keep the beat, the bad company
And all I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme
Juliet, I’d do the stars with you any time

Juliet, when we made love you used to cry
You said, I love you like the stars above and I’ll love you till I die
There’s a place for us, you know the movie song
When’re you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong – Juliet?’

A lovestruck Romeo sings a streetsuss serenade
Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
Finds a convenient streetlight, steps out of the shade
Says something like, ‘You and me babe how about it?

You and me babe, how about it?”

Telegraph Road

(Album: Love Over Gold)

“A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness
He built a cabin and a winter store
And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
And the other travellers came riding down the track
And they never went further, no, they never went back
Then came the churches, then came the schools
Then came the lawyers, then came the rules
Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
And the dirty old track was the telegraph road
Then came the mines – then came the ore
Then there was the hard times, then there was a war
Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
Telegraph road got so deep and so wide
Like a rolling river …
And my radio says tonight it’s gonna freeze
People driving home from the factories
There’s six lanes of traffic
Three lanes moving slow …
I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
I got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
Yes and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed
And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
You can hear them singing out their telegraph code
All the way down the telegraph road
You know I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
When life was just a bet on a race between the lights
You had your head on my shoulder, you had your hand in my hair
Now you act a little colder like you don’t seem to care
But believe in me baby and I’ll take you away
From out of this darkness and into the day
From these rivers of headlights, these rivers of rain
From the anger that lives on the streets with these names
‘Cos I’ve run every red light on memory lane
I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
And I don’t want to see it again …
From all of these signs saying sorry but we’re closed
All the way down the telegraph road”

 

Links

Dire Straits
Mark Knopfler
David Knopfler
Guy Fletcher

 

%d bloggers like this: