Classical rock band’s 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction is still ‘weird’ in hindsight


Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are filled with unforgettable moments, but the 2018 ceremony was memorable for what does not have to arrive. Dire Straits was eventually inducted that year, but singer and guitar virtuoso Mark Knopfler declined to attend and none of their songs were performed during the concert. To make things even stranger, bassist John Illsley gave the induction speech, so he became the first person to be inducted. It was all very “weird”, as Illsley admitted in a new interview with Ultimate classic rock this week.

When asked what the ceremony looked like to him three years later, Illsley said it was “interesting”. Knopfler’s absence was totally expected, but Illsley knew someone had to be there to greet Dire Straits’ induction. Six musicians who have performed with the band throughout its history have been inducted, but only Illsley and keyboardists Alan Clark and Guy Fletcher have shown up. Illsley was the only founding member there, as drummer Pick Withers and Knopfler’s brother, rhythm guitarist David Knofler, also skipped the ceremony.

“For me, that was kind of a glamorous thing to give the band, no matter what you think of it. It’s recognition of something and pretty important. I didn’t want to let that go. I wanted to celebrate it. . in a manner as best as we could under the circumstances, ”Illsley said. DUKE. “But it was a little strange having to induct yourself into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I don’t know if that had been done before.”

Illsley and Clark were ready to at least play part of “Sultans of Swing,” but that didn’t even happen. No celebrity jams like the iconic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” performance at the 2004 ceremony have developed. “I would have been very happy to do it. But it became kind of political football, and I didn’t really want to get into it too much. I just thought, ‘How do we actually keep some sense calm and civility in the situation without trying to do something? ‘ I would have loved to play, “Illsley said. After the case was over, Illsley was” relieved “and traveled to New York to” recover for a few days, “he said.

Illsley and Knopfler are still good friends. The guitarist wrote the preface to Illsley’s memoir, My Life in Dire Straits: the inner story of one of the greatest bands in rock history, which will be released on November 9. Dire Straits started in 1977 and had their first big hit with “Sultans of Swing” in 1978. They only released six studio albums before Knopfler split the band for good in 1995. Some of their other hits include “Romeo and Juliet”, “Private Investigations”, “Twisting by the Pool”, “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life”. Their 1986 album Brothers in arms made history as the first album to sell 1 million copies in CD form.

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