DIRE STRAITS TRUE STORY

The secret at the heart of Dire Straits revealed.

In 1975, a chance meeting between  (penniless poet/lyricist Robert Marshal) and bass player John Illsley in a coffee bar in the West End of London led directly to the creation of a band who became one of the most successful acts of the 1980’s. His story has never been told until now.

Back then, Dire Straits wasn’t a band, it was the state of both the UK and also of , an Edinburgh lyricist and poet, hopeful for success in the music industry. He had ideas, good lyrics, and a wealth of street aptitude, and had been mixing with well known musicians in London for several years, looking for a break.

Illsley was aspiring to be a musician and invited Marshal back to a house in Deptford as he had promised him some incredible lyrics. Shortly after they arrived, Mark Knopfler ( introducing himself as Dirk)walked in and he and Marshal spent the next 10 hours thrashing out songs on an old bass with two strings. They took turns  strumming the bass and chanting Marshal’s  lyrics in a rhythmic fashion, Marshal being no musician but a talented wordsmith rapped of the hooks as  Knopfler scribbled down the words in shorthand as one after another story that would become songs were  reeled them off. These words eventually formed the debut Dire Straits album (including Sultans of Swing) and most of the Brothers in Arms album including “Money for Nothing” which Knopfler recorded on a tape machine just as he was about to leave.

These lyrics were crafted on the spot during one mammoth session and are based upon Marshal’s extensive  experiences of London, where he worked as a barrow-boy in Berwick Street, a bus driver on the number 19 bus, and was squatting in a house in Bow when he met Knopfler. He showed his mastery  at writing lyrics by mixing  in that days experience of his meeting with Illsley and Knopfler, a chance meeting that became (“Wild West End”). He gave the stunned Knopfler a songwriting masterclass, a mentoring session and before he  left, gave the band to be the name “Dire Straits” before disappearing into the night. As he left, John Illsley had just about time to scribble down his name and the words “Straightjacket Music” for any share of  monies should the band be formed and have any  success. He believed the lyrics he had written could only have filled a good sixteen song L.P, and told Knopfler and Illsley not to use Money for Nothing. Of course they did and though it became one of the greatest hits, with Knopfler trying to inveigle Sting to take the credit for writing the lyrics with him it didn’t happen…  but Marshal never received the credit for writing the lyric or any share in the money it made, however British Grove Studios was built on the capital from Straitjacket Music.

Though Marshall has spoken to both Mark Knopfler and John Illsley, they have yet to make public his part in Dire Straits, and since there has been no denial from them or Libel suits its obvious he is telling the truth.

The Law on Admission States.

An admission may be express, such as written or verbal statement, by a Person concerning the truth, or it may be implied by a Persons conduct. If  someone fails to deny assertions which, if false, would be denied by any reasonable Person, such failure indicates that the Person has accepted the truth of the allegations.

Today, Marshal still writes lyrics,  poetry, plays, novels and radio stories under a variety of pseudonyms, but he still has hope that one day, Knopfler and Illsley will acknowledge what he has done for them make amends.

Mark Knopfler [ A Disclaimer ] Robert Marshal

disDear Mark Knopfler [Dirk],

I’m surprised that you of all people, unless all the songs you write about guns are being pointed at your head, and that is the reason why you have made a point in not contacting me personally?

When I left Farrer House in Deptford after successfully compiling together the lyrics for the Dire Straits album, and those you used for the Brothers in Arms, I’d say I left you amicably and in friendship?

You listened then to my ideas and lyrics and took my advice, and it seems to have worked perfectly for you throughout your career? You then went your own way without contacting me to further our obvious success in our ability to write lyrics and songs together?

However any verbal agreements were lost when Dire Straits lyrics included East Bound Train, and others written by yourself, and the change of name to Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits, and there was the inclusion of Money for Nothing, that I specifically said was not to be used.

So you can see how your behaviour at the Plague unveiling at Farrer House in Deptford just demeaned everything we had achieved, that I know was instigated by John Illsley. Who I’d say was the cause of most of errors I have mentioned yet wants to continue with a verbal agreement that was broken many times, making you look rather timid and foolish.?

And considering the band Dire Straits was my idea, and you did use my lyrics, you’d have thought in 2006 when I again made contact with you, even curiosity or perhaps even the chance of having a drink with the guy who gave you stardom and fame, would have drawn you away from the game you and Illsley are playing to meet someone who has only given and yet asked for nothing?

Then when you consider it was definitely more than the million pounds, you hoped to get through the music industry, you left the gift horse for a shower of suits that my monies pay for, so with that in mind Mark, I give you the chance to regain my respect and so I therefore offer you a Disclaimer for which I want to be recompensed for helping with your career.

A DISCLAIMER IS GENERALLY ANY STATEMENT INTENDED TO SPECIFY OR DELIMIT THE SCOPES OF RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS THAT MAY BE EXERCISED AND ENFORCED BY PARTIES IN A LEGALLY RECOGNIZED RELATIONSHIP.

Robert Marshal

Dire Straits Who Wrecked the Straights?

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Who was it that destroyed Dire Straits a band that could have been as popular as the Beatles, why change or lose the line up of Mark and David Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers. Who convinced Mark Knopfler to change the bands name to Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits, who then would be Dire Straits David Knopfler John Illsley and Pick Withers? John Illsley said, ” It was him that told David Knopfler his time with Dire Straits was over,” in fact I think he told him to , “Fuck Off,” not a nice thing to say to someone who claims he was one of the Founders of the band, and Mark allowed it to happen, in my family Illsley would have been decked and a new bass player brought into the group. It seems that John Illsley has taken quite a active part in assuming the role of spokesman for Mark Knopfler, and in my own case he has even told Mark Knopfler how to act in my presence. So in my mind Illsley comes out as the Boss of the outfit, and who is he minding his own self, he had no professional experience in a band and his business dealings are Bob Cotten..rotten, and Ive listened to his music and read his lyrics. He complained he had to spend 30,000 grand to produce Greg Pearles lyrics and music, he’d have had to spend the 15 million he somehow acquired through his time with Dire Straits to get his own into the charts. So is it Illsley who has filled Mark Knopflers head with the rubbish that breaks up a successful line up of artists that includes his brother David, and then probably forced Dave Pick Withers, the only true professional in the group to follow David Knopfler, and leaving who, let me guess, John call me your friend Illsley, and the hooked Mark Knopfler. Its strange really for Ive been working with someone with those exact qualities, and the list of artists they use are like obituaries to their own lack of securities. There was another problem with David Knopfler he’d been a Social Worker and that takes in quite a few Academic disciplines, like integrity and a quality to improve life, for five years he had believed his brother Mark had written the lyrics for the first Dire Straits album,  [Or that is what he told me,]. It was now three albums later and the lyrics I had written to show Knopfler how I wrote Folk lyrics, apart for Money for Nothing, were about to be brought out from their hiding place and become the Brothers in Arms album. Would DAVID FALL FOR IT A SECOND TIME, I don’t think so there were three albums of lyrics his brother had written since the D.S. ALBUM and there was no similarity at all, Les Boys, Twisting by the Pool you’ve got to be joking, and now the younger brother was going to be shocked by a completely different Album with folk lyrics mastered into  a genre of rock  what I think was a very clever con trick. Could David have been fooled if he’d been there would Pick Withers have seen through Illsley and Mark Knoplers deception, it wasn’t the fans they were conning it was David Knopfler, and in time myself.

Who was it that wanted David Knopfler excluded from knowing about my part in Dire Straits, it certainly wasn’t me, the only person I was worried about finding out I’d written the lyrics was the Censor especially with my background, about that I will go into later. Why was it when Mark took my lyrics to the Copywriters Office, it was David the innocent who accompanied him, which made the younger Knopfler a conspirator in fraud if the intentions were to plagiarize the lyrics, the lyrics I had written, or did Mark Knopfler not know he was involving his younger brother in what is a criminal offense. Once again John Edward Illsley seems to be a good few steps in front of the Knopfler brothers, he was present during the time I wrote the lyrics in Farrer House, he actually read them as they were written acting like a old schoolmaster checking your homework. Then if he and Mark had failed to inform David that someone else had written the lyrics, or about my idea about the formation of a band called Dire Straits, if a witness was needed at the Copyrights office or if Mark needed support it should have been the bankers son John Illsley who gave it. For in reality if charges of theft are brought by me for the monies due to me and the return of my intellectual property, it will be the Knopflers who would stand trial, Illsley would be watching the trial from the Gallery some friend, and talk about getting a using.

There’s some who say I was naive for allowing Knopfler and Illsley to use my ideas and lyrics and not contact them, but I’d made a decision that any further dealings with them would have come through them, some fans say the album Communique was that message, but that’s like listening to the lyrics of a record in reverse, and in the 80s it wasn’t so hard to find someone?

I had a few reasons for keeping my distance, my main one as David Knopfler and the Social Services, the Government and Law Courts, and the Police are reluctant to tell the public, once you have committed a Criminal offense in this country, your future in the Arts in Sport, Education the Law or any of the structures within society where your opinion may influence people, especially children who may want to follow in your footsteps, is a no goer no matter how gifted you are, so don’t break the Law kids.

So actually the Knopfler family should be thanking me for guiding the two brothers into the music scene, and away from the temptations of making a million pounds through drugs or fraudulent crimes, and don’t be fooled in thinking that after you have done the time the slate gets wiped clean. My reputation had been tarnished before I was a teen in a catch 22 situation, and though I was innocent of the more serious crime, I had been playing truancy from school when the crime was committed, that gave the Sheriff  the opportunity to make his decision through probabilities, if he was wrong in his judgement on one of the offenses he was right on the other. And it was the first time I’d been in trouble with the Law, and I was sentenced to a grade D Approved School that would haunt me throughout my life. If John Illsley and Mark Knopfler had been straights, the monies I’d have expected to receive for my part in Dire Straits would have been used to clear my name, instead its been used to tarnish theirs, catch 22 or what.

Even before I met the noble John Illsley, I knew how high I could climb up the ladder of success, before the press or someone who knew me blew my background, that was the reason I used to write under so many Nom de Plumes, even some of the jobs I worked at were under someone elses name. Even my mother wouldn’t take a penny of the money I’d got for my Edinburgh Novel, because the cheque didn’t have my real name on it. And apart from having a phobia about having my photo taking, and a stigma of being pointed at by the public when in the Approved School, I never wanted to be a rock star where I’d never know if the fans were saying he’s good, or he’s been in jail, so any thoughts of her Majesty pinning a O.B.E. on my leather jacket was out.

Though you have to remember through John Illsley and especially Mark Knopfler, the amount of money through Dire Straits that has been generously donated to Charities, and you can bet your life on whose money it was, yours truly, so if you read this your Majesty remember not all of us bad boys are all that bad. Oh and there’s the Knopflers divorces I have had to pay for, their children’s educations, no wonder they don’t want to give me my money, the list is endless I have done some ghost writing but a ghost money bank never.

Which brings it back to the ghost of David Knopfler, he now knows about my part in Dire Straits, he also knows his brother and Illsley were pulling his strings, they allowed him to think he with them had founded Dire Straits when in fact it had been founded before David was given the job as rhythm guitarist. I bonded with Mark Knopfler he is something special, but what made him change from mister nice guy. He told me when Illsley was becoming obtuse and showing the bullying and jealous side of his character to me, that he Mark could handle him, are you sure Mark were you sure you could, its split your family and a great band.

Illsley knows the meaning of cynicism, like using one brother against another, or for that matter using Mark against me who has done nothing against any of them, and he’s so wrapped up in his own personnel survival everybody has to suffer. Maybe it was caused through the multiple operations he had when he was a child, maybe its the scars of his childhood, who knows but what he should know are our feelings towards him, and its those scars he has to heal.

I said to him in house at Deptford, if you become famous you may not want to know me, and if I didn’t make it big in my life to ignore me, maybe he doesn’t think my making a super group called Dire Straits was a big thing for he definitely doesn’t want to know me, Its just a pity the Knopfler boys cannot see or have been blinkered and don’t want to see what or who wrecked not only Dire Straits, but there own family if they do, they may come back to the truth and loving each other.

And now the truth of the Citations my Lawyers sent to each of the members of Dire Straits comes to the fore, now we know if the case had gone to Court it would have been Mark and David who would have been the guilty parties to Plagiarizing my lyrics. But it was John Illsley who was supposedly acting on their behalf, and by accepting the citations took the heat away from the Knopflers, and I have the proof that he burned the evidence. If I’d known that when we met at St James, we wouldn’t be waiting to go to the Law Courts. It would have been the Crown Court, come on John Edward Illsley take me to Court or give me my money.

Pick Withers The British Band All Stars

THE BRITISH    BLUES BAND

 

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David Pick Withers [ Dire Straits ] Zoot Money, Dave Kelly, Peter Emery, Gary Fletcher, All Stars made the line up for a night of Blues Music that ONLY MASTERS OF THEIR TRADE CAN GIVE.

Each of the band gave us the audience a chance to hear music that even the buildings poor acoustic interior couldn’t suppress, everyone of the players had in the music scene, been there and had the scars to prove it. They enjoyed what they were doing and played and sang each of the well known songs with the talent and expertise as the label said, ALL STARS.

For myself it was seeing for real David Pick Withers behind a drum kit, I wrote the lyrics for the Dire Straits Album in 1975 that is now some 40 years ago. I’ve only seen Mark Knopfler and John Illsley as solo artists, maybe if I can get to a David Knopfler gig I will have actually seen for the first time the Dire Straits line up.

Mark Knopfler said he could see himself as a old man on stage playing the blues, and happily doing a Tommy Cooper and keeling over into the Great Rock Hall of Fame in the heavens. Well I can assure him none of the All Stars arrived by Private Jet, and I think they set up their gear themselves and carried the equipment from the boot of their cars.

Maybe just the thought of that heavy lifting, micro waves, ovens, would put that type of demise well of the radar for him, and anyway he’s now into the Folk scene, or as he says returned. Well I came late into the Folk scene just as it was finishing in1963, even with Newcastle being behind the rest of the music scene only having the Animals and a few more good Rhythm and Blues groups. The Knopfler brothers must have been the youngest Folk singers in a scene that was becoming defunct in the pubs and throughout the country, in fact David must have still been at school, and Mark being a few years younger than me would not have been eighteen and not allowed into these dens of heavy drinking Folk circles.

Then of course there’s the story about the pub Mark said he used to frequent in Newcastle, where a stunned regular shocked at the revelation stated, ” Ive been coming into that bar for thirty years, and Ive never seen him in there,”…

Don’t tell me even that’s just another story, he also said David Pick Withers friend because of the poverty both he Mark Knopfler who was working as Lecturer, and John Illsley the Bankers son and owner of a Music shop, and poor David Knopfler a Social Worker were living in at Deptford.  Well since it was myself who suggested the name Dire Straits, if a band was ever formed, and I’d never met David Pick Withers until the The British Blues Band night, though I’d like to be a friend of his, surely its not another Knopfler myth.

Maybe the guy in the pub was too busy listening to David Knopfler singing folk songs in the snug bar, that he didn’t notice Mark downing the Newcastle Browns in the bar, NO I’m just getting the Blues maybe Mark will return to his dream, it is a dream Mark isn’t it.

Dire Straits when they were Dire Straights

The Dire Straits True Story has just passed its fifth anniversary, and were still waiting for a response from Mark Knopfler or John Illsley, or their Lawyers? Of course as a over obsessed John Illsley fan stated “Why would a Elephant, be bothered about a mouse,”he obviously hadn’t read the story. Just like Mark and John Illsley hadn’t banked on the internet, if it was still travel and just the telephone the truth about my part in Dire Straits would probably never have got the time of day, a bit like Mathew Fisher and a Whiter Shade of Pale. And all he had was the telephone and it took him thirty years to get justice, and I’m sure the internet was the reason his voice was eventually heard.

However there was a time in 1976 when David and Mark Knopfler were real brothers in arms, not the rich and unhappy estranged strangers they have become. They had even written a song together and actually shared the lyric writing, [Whats the matter with you baby] was a joint effort by the Knopfler’s. [Real girl]was another song lyric that was taken of the first Dire Straits album as was [ Eastbound Train,[ leaving just the lyrics I had written when the album was released in 1978….

It also was a time when Mark Knopfler didn’t take the credit for writing the songs, though it would have been tooreal girl obvious if [Whats the matter baby] had lyrics by David and Mark Knopfler, and David Knopfler had written [Sacred Loving][Eastbound Train] and [Real girl] lyrics by Mark Knopfler, then it would be strange if ooythe rest of the album had songs by Mark Knopfler.

So really even as far back as that David Knopfler was being subjected to some dodgy dealings by his brother and John Illsley, who had not mentioned to him my part in Dire Straits. A secret that according to David Knopfler he knew nothing about until 2006 when I got in touch with him, for Mark had to be contacted through the Brewers Droop website, so I sent the fateful email about my part in Dire Straits to a brother who really was innocent to his bigger brothers skulduggery with Illsley and all behind his back for all of those years, and he still calls Illsley his friend. David if you read this and you were upset about not having your songs and lyrics put on any of your brothers future albums, [Communique] [Love over Gold] ha ha[Making Movies] it was because you were not part of the gang of two. Now its myself whose getting the silent treatment from two Straights, whose treatment of yourself has been Dire.

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Dire Straits Album thank you Robert Allan

Robert Allan Dire Straits SolicitorRobert Allan is the Lawyer who guided Dire Straits into a millionaire class band, after the success of their first album, Dire Straits, in the late 70s until Brothers in Arms 1985.

When a new contract was drawn up in 1985, the name Robert Marshal was written out. The deal I had with Mark Knopfler and John Illsley that my share would be put into a company called Straitjacket Music suddenly disappeared and became another puzzle, that in later years would come back to haunt all the conspirators including Robert Allan.

Having contacted a young American Solicitor who had been part of the team drawing up the new contract in 1985. I explained my part to him in writing the lyrics in the Dire Straits and of course Brothers in Arms albums, instead of being surprised or questioning this revelation, like a lot of Mark Knopfler fans do. He seemed rather excited about my return into the fold of being the one who was instrumental in the making of the band Dire Straits?

He immediately sent me the email address and phone number of Robert Allan, however I’d failed to tell him that the reason I’d contacted him, was because Thank You Robert Allan was being rather hesitant about answering my letters, and since he the American Solicitor had helped Allan with the new contract, did the name Robert Marshal strike a chord, and obviously it did.

My letters to Robert Allan must have hit his conscience for he eventually did contact me, but I wont be saying thank you Robert Allan, though he didn’t need the answer, but its hard to turn your back on someone whose made you a fortune and a reputation, eh Mark eh John.IMG_0184IMG_0185 (2)

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DIRE STRAITS a RIP OFF

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Intellectual Property Laws in Britain are as antiquated to the Romans arrival on the shores of England and calling it Britannia.

In the 18th and probably the 19th centuries it was settled by a few rounds of bare knuckle fighting, or in a more serious manner with Pistols or Swords on a cold early morning.

I didn’t even give Intellectual Property Laws a thought when I first went to a Solicitor in Bristol. John Illsley and I had spoken of how I’d contact him if the band became a success, it would be a simple letter from a respected Lawyer telling Illsley it was the real Robert Marshal who was trying to get in touch.

However the Bristol Solicitors took it into their heads to send citations to nearly everyone who had been part of Dire Straits the band, and my letter of introduction to Illsley was put in the bin. Being so many miles away from their office in Bristol,this was all being done without my say so, even though it was my money the sharks had got their teeth into a piece of fresh flesh and were not letting go.

They sent the citations out to the individual band members Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler, John Illsley, Pick Withers, Guy Fletcher, Jack Sonni, I even think Danny Cummings was included. The list of names became almost endless and the pile of Citations was massive, and it was all done without my approval.

The address the Solicitors sent them to, sent them back unopened saying Return to Sender address unknown, they didn’t even know how to contact the people on the list of Citations. And this procedure of sending them out and then having them returned to their office in Bristol, went on and on draining my capital and convincing me I’d met the Key Stone Cops of Solicitors.

To the Bristol Solicitors relieve and to my horror a guy called Denis O’shea from Boscombe in Hampshire, Illsley’s territory, put his hand up and said he would accept the Citations. Who is Denis O’shea and what connection does he have with Dire Straits or any of the band members, none, he is a friend of someone who worked for John Illsley, and that was where the Citations were sent.

The Bristol Solicitors having got shot of their Citations, immediately snapped closed their briefcases with my money, said they’d done their bit as it was getting a bit to heavy for them and retired to the restaurants and bars of Bristol to spend it.

I contacted Denis O’shea who is a dupe in a duplicity set up by John Illsley’s friend, a gentleman who was taken advantage of for being sincere, and trusting someone he thought was a friend. You know how to pick us John so is it fists or Pistols at Dawn, I don”t think you’ve got the bottle even to apologise to Mr O’shea.

 

 

 

Mark Knopflers Song to be played at the Edinburgh Tattoo

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Mark Knopfler says he has had a long time interest in the British Army, of course that’s because of Brothers in Arms, the song he played to my lyrics. If Knopfler or Illsley had been in the armed forces, and knew how to live the life of a soldier, they would have a greater respect for a comrade whose lyrics promoted them to wealth and position?

Had this been the French Foreign Legion and they’d done that to one of their own, the fingers that Mark uses to pluck the strings of the guitar would be missing. As for Illsley’s contempt for a comrade and his habitual plundering of the monies that I made, it would be the whole hand he would have had taken from him.

The long time interest I have with the Edinburgh Tattoo, is that I with many of my comrades in the Royal Scots, The Cameronians, Kings Own Scottish Borderers, all now defunct, marched with pride down the castles esplanade to the massed pipe and drums of the Highland Regiments.

I have been introduced to Field Marshal Montgomery on Her Majesty The Queens Birthday parade, an honour indeed for me to have spoken to the great man. Another great soldier was R.S.M. Smith of the Coldstream Guards, whose voice was reckoned to be the loudest in the British Army, and who would have had Illsley and Knopfler quick march straight to the clink for their misdemeanors, not be praised for taking credit for something they didn’t write.

That is why I’m all in favor of National Service, it shapes characters and brings out the best in you, it also gives you a identity and a goal to reach for. Something they obviously don’t teach you at the public school John Illsley attended, or painting. Plagiarism and bullying were definitely on the timetable. And this was quite notable the bullying part I mean when I was at the 1oo club to see him and Grieg Pearle perform. He didn’t even have the gumption to ask me to leave the after drinks party, as I was obviously making him look small in front of his admirers, who were asking him who I was. That the six foot four coward put the onus on some guy who didn’t have a scooby of what was going on to ask me to leave, as he slithered away into the crowd, if I’d known then what his game was. I would not have been the group called the Aftermath, it would have been Illsley who would have had a Aftermath. And probably still have, he spent two years lying on a couch having therapy to convince him I didn’t exist, if he feels like another few year on his back I will certainly oblige him. Another lack in that private schooling that breeds gutless people, and to think the guy says he has cancer, is there nothing not even a illness like that to get this guy to tell the truth.

I’m sure there will be quite a few ex military and serving armed forces members who are Dire Straits fans, so from a comrade in arms to another, lets get the true Dire Straits Story from a couple of chancer’s. I want a musical festival at Dunnoter Castle, starting with a Dire Straits Re-union, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and a host of rock stars, and Mark Knopfler and John Illsley can help pay for it. A Tattoo of rock stars and helping serving soldiers and those who need our help, so come on Mark put your money where your mouth is you said your commitment for the Tank boys goes far back, lets see if it goes as far back as your wallet.

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