Id been sent a invitation by P.R.S. for music, to not only attend the plaque unveiling but to have lunch also. I thought to myself these two Illsley and Knopfler have at last come to their senses, as a face to face meeting between the three of us was long overdue. So I duly arrived in Deptford at the appointed hour, it had been raining and the housing estate looked as bleak as I remembered it all those years before when Illsley had had driven me there in his car.
Not being able to see a crowd of fans I went to the Laban Dance Centre where the reception or lunch was being held, and met up with the guy Steve Cole who had organized the event for P.R.S. for music. “We are just on our way round to Farrer House,”he told me carrying a tray with hot drinks on it for the celebrities.
As we walked I asked him about the set up, and sussed that if Illsley or Knopfler were expecting me to turn up it had not been planned through the P.R.S. There was a small crowd gathered in front of a main door of a ground floor flat, that I remembered I was glad to get out of and escape into the real world.
At the same time Illsley saw me and waved a limp hand in my direction, the guy beside him half hidden into his jacket was Knopfler, none of the rest of Dire Straits the band had turned up, which made me think there was three in the beginning of Dire Straits, and three at the end. Though I would have liked for David Knopfler and Pick Withers to have shown face, as it was all in aid of their first gig, and not how the band was started. But I suppose they had their reasons for staying away, and as you can see by the dour faces on the photograph of Illsley and Knopfler, they didn’t seem to happy to see me either.
Steve Cole wanted me to get my photograph taken with Illsley and Knopfler, but there was enough glum looking people at the ceremony already without me joining them. My refusal then brought me to the attention of Illsley’s then manager, who asked who I was and hearing my name from Cole said,”Oh that’s him,” and what he meant by that I haven’t a clue, but it didn’t sound to friendly to me.
The whole ceremony took minutes with Knopfler trying to portray the hard up artist having to steal electricity to play their music, its when you have to steal your guitars and amps and get the jail for your art that’s revolutionary. When you are well off and able to pay your bills, as was the case with John Illsley Mark Knopfler and David Knopfler, that’s just theft.
Just as I was thinking about leaving the farce, that was bringing bad memories of our meeting all those years before back to me. Mark Knopfler must have seen I had taken my eye of the proceedings and tried to get passed me, however a woman from the group suddenly appeared and blocked his way clutching a old copy of Sultans of Swing, and asked for him to sign it. If only she had asked me to also sign it, she would have been in the real ball court, and what a treasure to own. I watched Knopfler take his glove of his hand as I stared into his face, not a flicker of,”Hi guy your the guy who made me millions,” nothing at all, and yet he almost broke down at the Albert Hall when he saw me in the audience. With his glove of I put my hand forward, and said to him,”Are we going to get a chance to have a talk,” shaking my hand he answered,”I will be about for a while,”….?
The crowd had moved around to the back of Farrer House when someone asked how the band was started, and remembering that was why the fans had turned up, with a haughty look in my direction as if Id asked the guy to ask the question, he said angrily,”That was forty years ago,” and so it was Mark and your still just a bread head.
Knowing this reunion was a waste of time, I watched John Illsley and his entourage heading towards the Laban Center and the food buffet, and decided to follow him and close the day of in style as it could not get worse, or so I thought.
Steve Cole was in the building when I arrived, I gave my name to the security guard, who looked through the list of guests,”Your name is not here,”he told me. With the man who had invited me just yards away I called him over and explained my predicament,”Its all right”, Steve Cole told the guard,”He’s a guest,”.. With warning bells ringing in my head I began to walk up the aisle towards the buffet, I had just turned the corner where I could see John Illsley with his head almost in the food, when the guard came hurrying after me,”The Boss, he took your name of the guest list,” he apologized,”The Boss,” I queried with a look down to where Illsley was stuffing his face,”….”Yes the Boss,”the guard said agreeing it was Illsley.
Following the guard down the aisle in a effort to find out from Cole why I was being excluded from the lunch, Mark Knopfler surrounded by about ten suits was making his way towards me,”Whats going on,” I asked him, and not getting a answer as they passed by me with there heads down, I shouted,”Not you as well Mark,” though now that I’ve found out that Guy Fletcher and Knopfler refer to each other as Romans I should have called out, ET TU MARCUS, as I’d just been stabbed in the back by Illsley, but without saying anymore as I knew my next action would be enough to get me jailed, I left the building watched closely by a woman and Steve Cole, who was looking at me as if I’d robbed the box office. When in fact it was me that was being robbed…….