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

John Illsley. Diversion, $30 (320p) ISBN 978-1-63576-915-9
Illsley, bass player of the British rock band Dire Straits, delivers a fascinating take on the band’s history. Following his rock-crazed youth in Leicestershire, he details his eventful meeting in the mid-1970s with guitar playing brothers David and Mark Knopfler in London’s Deptford district, a bleak area that, during a decade marked by “crippling strikes,” was “far ahead in the race to the bottom.” But it was the ideal place to form a band, as Illsey ably illustrates, recalling how it enabled Dire Straits to develop a unique sound away from the punk scene that dominated London at the time. Once the band’s demo tape landed with popular disc jockey Charlie Gillett in 1977, who began playing their song “Sultans of Swing” on repeat during the summer of 1977, the group shot to superstardom. Illsley breathlessly recounts the nonstop touring that began after they signed with Warner Records, the ascendancy of “Sultans” to worldwide hit status, and the increasingly popular records that followed, among them 1985’s Brothers in Arms, whose breakout song “Money for Nothing” led to a prominent performance at Live Aid. Along the way, Illsley is brutally frank about the toll that the band’s fame had on his relationships, most notably his marriage (“a victim,” he writes, “of my life on the road”). Fans will be mesmerized. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/23/2021
Release date: 11/09/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-63576-916-6
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