John Illsley My Life in Dire Straits: The Inside Story of One of the Biggest Bands in Rock History


Code 9781787634367
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With a foreword by Mark Knopfler.

Dire Straits filled giant stadiums around the world and sold hundreds of millions of records. Throughout the eighties they were the one of the biggest bands on the planet. Their classic songs - 'Sultans of Swing', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Money for Nothing', 'Brothers In Arms' - formed the soundtrack of a generation and live on today: still racking up sales, still being played on the radio on every continent.

In My Life in Dire Straits, John Illsley - founder member, bassist and mainstay - evokes the spirit of the times and tells the story of one of the great live acts of rock history.

Starting with his own unlikely beginnings in Middle England, he recounts the band's rise from humble origins in London's spit-and-sawdust pubs to the best-known venues in the world, the working man's clubs to Madison Square Garden, gigging with wild punk bands to the Live Aid stage at Wembley. Until, ultimately, the shattering demands of touring on a global scale and living life in the spotlight took their inevitable toll.

John's story is also a tribute to his great friend Mark Knopfler, the band's lead singer, songwriter and gifted guitarist - the only band members to stay the fifteen-year distance. Told with searching honesty, soulful reflection and wry humour, this is the first and only account of that incredible story.

About the Author

John Illsley rose to fame as the bass guitarist of the critically acclaimed band Dire Straits and has received multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards, and a Heritage Award. As a founding member, John played a major role in the development of the Dire Straits sound.

Since the band's last tour in 1993 he has earned a reputation as a painter, with solo exhibitions in London, New York, Sydney and across Europe. He co-founded the children's charity Life Education in 1987, which was recently integrated into Coram. As a musician, John also has eight solo albums to his name. He owns a pub in the New Forest.

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'An uplifting journey through the sheer hard work, pitfalls and thrills of navigating a great rock band to the pinnacle of success. I so enjoyed the ride!'
- Roger Taylor

'Captures the early days of the "English bands" and their story. The ups and downs, relationships, craziness and fun... This really happened!'
- Mike Rutherford

'A wry and witty account of life in one of the world's biggest and unlikeliest supergroups and the music industry in its heyday... John Illsley is a charming, amusing and observant companion.'
- Mariella Frostrup

'Frank, funny and tender. If you loved their music, you'll adore this book.'
- Nicholas Evans

'Fans will be mesmerized.'
- Publishers Weekly


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