A Rare Live Performance of ‘Lady Writer’ in 1979 at The Bayou Club by Dire Straits

A Rare Live Performance of ‘Lady Writer’ in 1979 at The Bayou Club by Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler Live in 1979 at the Bayou club, Washington D.C.

This is very rare video footage from the live performances of the Dire Straits from the late 70s. The video is actually from 1979 when the band was in Washington D.C. and they had a live performance.

This is the original video recordings done by the owner of the legendary night club and music venue located in Georgetown, Washington D.C. They were recorded for a documentary of that venue and donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, who put a big watermark on the video as we can be seen in the impression picture below.

On this video Dire Straits played their song ‘Lady Writer’, but the band had two dates at the venue and also two shows a day by then. This version is very unique and rare. Hopefully, you will enjoy this rare recording. You can see how the band had the energy of the original formation, and also unique flavor.

According to the biography of the band from 1984, the song ‘Lady Writer’ was inspired by Marina Warner, who songwriter Mark Knopfler saw on a TV program, hence the opening line ‘Lady Writer on the TV…’

In 1976, Warner, a highly educated polyglot, published a scholarly book about the cult of the Virgin Mary. For some reason her appearance struck a chord with Knopfler, bringing back painful memories of a love that was no more. There’s real venom in the song, and it is evident that any resemblance the talented Miss Warner bore to his former lover was strictly physical.

‘Lady Writer’ was released on the Vertigo label, it was the band’s second single and runs to 3 minutes and 45 seconds.

The Bayou was owned by Dave Williams, and it has been located in Georgetown in Washington D.C. The club was opened in September of 1953 on the site of a former Dixieland nightclub called The Pirates Den which featured Dixieland jazz until the early 60s when the format changed to rock and roll.

At the time The Bayou club generally attracted an older crowd as well as the diverse following college students from the university and The Pentagon area.

The Bayou was a stop on the national tours of middle-range musical groups and solo artists. The club, which was a regular stop on East Coast tours by UK bands from the late 70s on, featured artists including U2 (their second show in the United States), Kiss, Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Police, Blue Oyster Cult, Bon Jovi, and Dire Straits.

Short timeline on The Bayou club:

  1. It’s been opened back in 1939.
  2. The name was changed to The Bayou in 1953 with owners Mike Munley, Vince and Tony Tramonte.
  3. Converted to Rock N’ Roll in September 1965.
  4. In 1980 the club was being bought by Cellar Door Productions from the Tramonte brothers.
  5. Eva Cassidy performed for the last time with “What a Wonderful World” at The Bayou in September 1996.
  6. The club was closed in 1999 and razed the same year.
  7. The Bayou club was the subject of a documentary produced by Metro Tele productions, Inc. Maryland Public Television aired the program on February 25, 2013.

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