John Illsley

My Life in Dire Straits
  • My Life in Dire Straits

  • 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 biggest band 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.

John Illsley rose to fame as the bass guitarist of the critically acclaimed band Dire Straits. With Dire Straits, he has been the recipient of multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards, and a Heritage Award. As one of the founding members, John played a major role in the development of the Dire Straits sound. When Dire Straits finished touring in 1993, he carved out a reputation for himself as a painter and has had solo exhibitions in London, New York, Sydney and across Europe. He also co-founded the children's charity Life Education in 1987 which was recently integrated into Coram. John owns a pub, the East End Arms in the New Forest.

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