Dire straits meaning and origin story of the band – wiki


British rock band Dire Straits enjoyed their heyday in the music industry in the late 70s to the late 80s, and the early 90s. The band was composed of Mark Knopfler, on lead vocals and lead guitar, David Knopfler, on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, John Illsey, on bass guitar and backup vocals, and Pick Withers, on percussions and drums.

Mark Knopfler

In 1973, Mark Knopfler was already focusing more on his music career and was in a band called Brewers Droop. He played at different pubs with his band. He later joined another band, Cafe Racers. In 1977, he lived in a flat with his brother David and friend John Illsey, and he invited them to join his band. Pick Withers was soon introduced to them and he later joined the group.

Origin of the name Dire Straits and it’s meaning

A friend of Mark’s (some reports say it was Pick’s friend) suggested they change their name to Dire Straits as a reference to the group’s financial situation at the time (this was denied by David saying they had day jobs when they started working together).

Sultans of Swing

The group worked on a demo, consisting of 5 tracks, which included the single, Sultans of Swing, which eventually became their first hit single. After being rejected by MCA, they went to Charlie Gillet, who was a DJ on BBC Radio London. He played Sultans of Swing on his program. Two months later, the group was signed on by Vertigo of Phonogram Inc. Vertigo released the group’s first album, Sultans of Swing in February 1978 and the rest is history.

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