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Dire Straits – All about the band: biography, facts, photos, songs

“My brother and I had a slightly different vision of what we were doing ... I was building a democracy, and Mark was building an autocracy. Of course, over the years, our misunderstandings cast a huge shadow over both our lives and our families. We have cousins who don't even know each other!"

All about the musical group Dire Straits

With absolute certainty, we can say that Dire Straits are one of the most successful British rock bands of the 80s! Founded by Mark Knopfler and his comrades, the band gathered countless stadiums ...

They beat all chart records, but, unfortunately, in 1995 they ceased to exist ...

All about the musical group Dire Straits
All about the musical group Dire Straits

How it all began? History of Dire Straits

Britain in the 1970s was difficult to call a rich country ... So - the name of the team makes a lot of sense! Translated "Dire Straits" means "Terrible Straits". Based on this, one can conclude that the band itself was in a difficult position ... However, as guitarist David Knopfler stated in an interview, this is largely complete nonsense:

“The notion that the band was literally in a desperate situation is largely a myth… It is not supported by the facts. We all had work. Well, until we got a staggering fee from Polygram!”

Dire Straits!
Dire Straits!

And indeed: at the time of the formation of Dire Straits, all the members of the group had a decent job. And John Illsley did come from a wealthy family that sent him to a private school!

First rehearsals and first success...

In July 1977, after rehearsing with studio drummer Peak Withers, the band recorded their first demo. It included 5 tracks, including the legendary "Sultans of Swing"... Notorious critic and DJ Charlie Gillett played the song on his BBC radio show "Honky Tonkin", after which the band was noticed by the record company!

Dire Straits' debut album took 12 days and $25,000 to record! The record was sold in a staggering 11 million copies worldwide! It was the first and certainly a major success for the group ...

Dire Straits
Dire Straits

It may seem strange to many, but Dire Straits have never liked to be in the spotlight. Especially the Knopfler brothers. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mark stated:

“I love success. Success means I can buy 1959 Gibson Les Pauls and Triumphs. But I don’t like fame… It only interferes with what you are doing, without any advantages…”

In July 1980, the Making Movies sessions began. The album included longer songs with more layered arrangements. The album was a big success in the States. Making Movies saw the light of day for the hits "Romeo And Juliet" and the MTV favorite "Skateaway".

Romeo and Juliet

Skateway:

Curiously, the song about “Romeo and Juliet”, which took eighth place in the UK, did not take root in the USA even many years later ...

Internal conflicts...

After the release of the Love over Gold album, drummer Peak Withers left the band. Dire Straits is joined by Terry Williams and Tommy Mandel.

It is worth adding that during the recording of the third album "Making Movies" David Knopfler left the group and began a solo career. And, most likely, not just like that ... According to the musician, the problems in their relationship with Mark began in the heyday of the 80s:

“My brother and I had a slightly different vision of what we were doing ... I was building a democracy, and Mark was building an autocracy. Of course, over the years, our misunderstandings cast a huge shadow over both our lives and our families. We have cousins who don't even know each other!"

The Knopfler Brothers
The Knopfler Brothers

Success with "Money for Nothing"!

By 1985, Dire Straits had perfected their radio soundtrack, as evidenced by their world-famous hit "Money for Nothing" (featuring Sting)!

Curiously, two workers from the "kitchen appliance store" served as a source of inspiration. There was a TV set on the wall showing the MTV music channel. In between work, the men had time to make remarks about musicians ... So, Knopfler managed to catch the following phrase: “Musicians ... compose music, shoot videos and make money out of nothing!”

As you might guess, the replica formed the basis of the hit. And the iconic phrase “I want my MTV” is the merit of Sting.

It remains to add that the video for the song became the "Clip of the Year" and brought many nominations to Dire Straits!

Performance at Wembley (1985)

Not surprisingly, there were representatives of the royal family in the ranks of the group's fans. Yes Yes! As it turns out, the infamous Princess Diana was a big fan of Dire Straits! In 1985, she attended their charity concert at Wembley Arena with Prince Charles.

Princess Diana was a big fan of Dire Straits!
Princess Diana was a big fan of Dire Straits!

The concert was a huge event in the world of music: fees exceeded 55,000 pounds! Guitarist Hal Lindes later recalled:

“After the concert, they told us that they really enjoyed it! In fact, we could see them on the balcony and they seemed to be in awe of everything that was happening… It was a rare moment when Diana let her hair down in public and started dancing! So, the princess turned out to be a rock lover… Why am I not surprised?!”

Brothers in Arms: Record Breaking Album

Recorded in 1985 as the first CD, Brothers in Arms sold a million copies. The record became number one in the world, as well as the first album to receive 10x platinum status in the UK! To this day, Brothers in Arms remains the best-selling album in the band's homeland...

Unfortunately, Dire Straits ceased to exist in 1995.

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