Norman Warwick reads of
A MAN IN DIRE STRAITS
Unless memory plays me false I was already playing the folk clubs in the North West of England at the time Dire Straits burst onto the scene with the single of Sultans Of Swing. They were hailed as a rock band but they seemed to fit perfectly into my folk music listening too. That single spoke to us folkies for sure, in the telling of a story about a legendary but very parochial band. Everyone who heard it, like me and Colin in Lendanear, had really no idea who the bnd was that was immortalised in this song, and yet we could all identify a band we felt the same about and we all knew one of the major characters, whether or not he was called Harry. Of course, Dire Streets released scores of great songs over a number of albums: songs like Tunnel Of Love, Romeo and Juliet and others were, lyrically a perfect fit for the contemporary folks scene, so it was no surprise to some us that leader Mark Knopflers instruimental sole work on the likes of Local Hero so sounded like perfect folk music too. That he later in his solo career after Dire Straits disbanded to work and duet with the likes of Emmylou Harris.
So, how could any man get into and out of such Dire Straits?
The first, and only, inside story of one of the greatest bands in rock history–Dire Straits–is told by founding member and bassist John Illsley
One of the most successful music acts of all time, Dire Straits filled stadiums around the world. Their albums sold hundreds of millions of copies and their music–classics like “Sultans of Swing,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Money for Nothing,” and “Brothers in Arms”–is still played on every continent today. There was, quite simply, no bigger band on the planet throughout the eighties.
Big, they certainly were but they were also cool.
Knopfler´s song-writing and vocals could convey raucous rock n roll and philosophical ´folk as dictated by his lyrics.
His guitar work could flog a flagging horse to the winning post or allow you to a laze by a lulling lakeside.
My Life In Dire Straits is a powerful and entertaining memoir,in which founding member John Illsley gives the inside track on the most successful rock band of their time. From playing gigs in the spit-and-sawdust pubs of south London, to hanging out with Bob Dylan in LA, Illsley tells the story of the band with searching honesty, soulful reflection, and wry humor. Starting with his own unlikely beginnings in Middle England, he recounts the band’s rise from humble origins to the best-known venues in the world, the working man’s clubs to Madison Square Garden, sharing gigs with wild punk bands to rocking the Live Aid stage at Wembley. And woven throughout is an intimate portrait and tribute to his great friend Mark Knopfler, the band’s lead singer, songwriter, and remarkable guitarist.
Tracing an idea that created a phenomenal musical legacy, an extraordinary journey of joy and pain, companionship and surprises, this is John Illsley’s life in Dire Straits.
we´re gonna need a bigger bookshelf for book number 10
title A Man In Dire Straits
author John Illsley
Publisher Diversion Books
Publish Date November 09, 2021
Dimensions 6.2 X 9.2 X 1.1 inches | 1.3 pounds
John Illsley rose to fame as the bass guitarist of the critically acclaimed band Dire Straits. With Dire Straits, John has been the recipient of multiple Grammy Awards and a Heritage Award. As one of the founding members (with Mark Knopfler, his brother David and drummer Pick Withers) John played a major role in the development of the Dire Straits sound. When Dire Straits finished touring in 1993, John became involved in the art world. Having carved a reputation for himself as a painter, John had solo exhibitions in London, New York, Sydney, and across Europe. He also cofounded the children’s charity Life Education in 1987, which was recently integrated into Coram, one of the oldest UK charities. John also owns a pub, the East End Arms in the New Forest.