Dire Straits Rock Hall Reunion Comes Down to Mark Knopfler
Dire Straits bassist John Illsley vowed to persuade band leader Mark Knopfler to attend their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year – but he’s not sure if they’ll perform at the ceremony.
The British group, which has been inactive since 1992, was named as part of the Rock Hall's Class of 2018 this week, alongside Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues and the Cars.
“It sort of fills me with a lot of pleasure, I must say, to be recognized and to be included in the thing that we love doing best, which is making music and playing rock 'n' roll," Illsley told Billboard. "I still consider [Dire Straits] to always be a rock 'n' roll band; first and foremost that's where we came from. So to be part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is like ticking off a pretty large box.”
Asked about staging a performance, he said, “Mark is quite sort of restrained about things like this. We have spoken about [the induction] and we just said, ‘Oh, that’s nice.’ I think it would probably be important if Mark and I were there. I'll definitely be there, and I'll definitely talk Mark into coming as well. It's essentially up to him if he wants to do anything, and I completely respect his feelings about it. He doesn't want too much white light.”
“I'll go if there's a reason to go, if Mark decides he wants to go and put something together and go and perform there," keyboardist Alan Clark noted. "Jump back to 1992, the last gig we played in Spain, I said, 'That will be the last gig we ever play.' When people say, 'Will the band ever get back together?’ I always say no. But will we get together for this? I don't know. I'd be totally into the idea of it happening.”
Illsley pointed out that Dire Straits had never officially split. “We just basically sort of called it a day as far as making records and touring was concerned,” he said, adding that he and Knopfler’s level of contact hadn’t changed since they were working together. “As an entity playing together, no, it doesn't exist any longer. Whether it will actually make any music in the future, I have no idea. Right now it doesn't look like it, but stranger things have happened."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on Aprll 14 in Cleveland, with a broadcast to follow afterward on HBO.