40 Years of Dire Straits

faOn the 6th July 1978 the Dire Straits Album was released  songs by Mark Knopfler, lyrics written by Robert Marshal and kindly reproduced by Straitjacket Songs.

The band Mark Knopfler lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist David Knopfler, bass guitarist John Illsley, drums David Pick Withers.This was the beginning of a journey into the music industry for three of the group, who would never have believed it was possible. Though there is a claim a band existed called the Cafe Racers, the only Cafe Racer was a motor bike and perhaps owned by one of the Knopflers, and the only band that played or recorded Sultans of Swing, were Dire Straits. David Pick Withers was the only member of the band who was a professional musician, the youngest player David Knopfler was working for The Social Work Department in London and sharing a one bedroom house South of the Thames in Deptford with John Illsley, who was a mature student at Goldsmiths College, and when Mark Knopfler arrived in London he became a student at the same College and joined the other two at the house in Deptford.

Mark Knopfler and Illsley were both at a age 25 that was to old to join a punk band, though Illsley used to invite young would be punk guitarists back to the house on a Tuesday, and as already quoted to mainly tune their guitars, so any thoughts of forming a band were never in reality within their sights or capabilities. You can Jam till your fingers bleed but it takes something everyone can join in on that doesn’t have any of their stamps on it to make them jell together equally, and that was the lyrics that belonged to none of them, though only Mark Knopfler and Illsley knew the truth about who had written them, that is why even though the older Knopfler tried to include his own lyrics into the first Dire Straits album, it was more productive and prudent to just stick to those written outside the trio by Robert Marshal.

With the introduction into the group of David Pick Withers, the band was formed, and with his knowledge and contacts in the business people in the industry started taking notice, and though the band played a few gigs in Camden Town, it was in Europe where they scored their biggest fans. Punk was a English thing Rock and Roll was Universal, and the latter time of the 70s was dry of of that type of music so the Dire Straits album slotted in nicely into a niche made for their flair. Though it also started the cracks of jealousy to appear when their second album was released, this time songs and lyrics all written by Mark Knopfler, the hedonistic thread missing from the first album by having a stranger write the lyrics had gone, and the bickering and fighting for recognition had begun. Happy Birthday guys.

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