John Illsley, who played bass with Dire Straits for the band’s entire career, has written a memoir about his life and his experiences with the famous British group led by singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler.
My Life in Dire Straits: The Inside Story of One of the Biggest Bands in Rock History will be released on November 9, and will feature Illsley’s first-hand recollections of the band’s journey — from playing U.K. pubs, to the stages of some of the world’s biggest venues. The bassist also shares details about the recording of Dire Straits many classic songs and albums.
“This book above all is about passion and pursuing your dreams — taking the unpredictable path, not the easy option,” Illsey says. “It charts the journey from my innocent teens strumming a few chords, to playing on the biggest stages in the world; a chance meeting in 1976 with Mark Knopfler that created a musical partnership that lasted 20 years, and a strong friendship that continues to this day.”
He adds, “Dire Straits was an idea that created a phenomenal musical legacy, an extraordinary journey of joy, fun, companionship and surprises. I am immensely proud of my contribution to this journey.”
Knopfler has penned the book’s foreword. He writes in one segment, “For us, it was a huge adventure and a hell of a ride, with all its comedy, absurdity, exhaustion, madness, and sadness…This ride is not for everyone, not for those who can’t take the pressures and the pace…It was a different world. And John has remembered a pretty big chunk of it.”
Besides Knoplfer, Illsley was the only Dire Straits member to play with the band from its inception to its 1995 dissolution. John also has released eight solo albums and is an accomplished painter.
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