Exclusive Q&A: Mark Knopfler and Brian Johnson’s Insights with Rolling Stone UK

Exclusive Q&A: Mark Knopfler and Brian Johnson’s Insights with Rolling Stone UK

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Brian Johnson, Mark Knopfler and Tom Jones (Rolling Stone UK)Brian Johnson, Mark Knopfler and Tom Jones (Rolling Stone UK)

Welcome back to our exclusive Q&A interview with Mark Knopfler and Brian Johnson, conducted by Nick Reilly for Rolling Stone UK. Dive deeper into the insights and anecdotes shared by these two legends as they discuss their new show. If you missed Part 1, catch up by clicking HERE.

2. Did the show seem like a natural extension of this friendship then?

Brian: I had a show already called “A Life On the Road” and Mark was one of my desired guests. We went to Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Priory and we shot the thing inside a lovely old pub in Tynemouth.

It was so wonderful because we went down on the sands and the beach afterward and we both have a particular love for the area. In the end, Mark said to me, “Isn’t it a shame that we couldn’t just keep walking and filming and talking?” That stuck in my head.

Mark: Our managers agreed and we filmed this over a year. It did feel like herding cats a bit, the way we had to travel around and meet all these people, but we got through it and the production team did a really good job on it.

3. There’s a lovely rapport between yourselves and the guests on the show that encourages them to open up. That one moment in particular when Tom Jones is talking about his early days and performing in New York and meeting the mob. Have you ever met any characters like that over the years?

Mark: Oh yes, and I’m sure Brian has. You meet these characters when you play at clubs around the world and certainly on the security side of it. In fact, there was a time when it infiltrated the agencies and promoters too. It was all part and parcel of the game, but it didn’t stop you from loving the game then.

Brian: Nefarious characters are rampant in music – you’ve just gotta find the good ones! There are a lot of guys out there who are ready to take advantage of anybody’s dream of making it big and it happens everywhere. I’m not going to name specific TV shows, but some just exploit people for entertainment too.

4. Do you think it gives the audience a different perception of your guests too, because they open up in your company?

Brian: Yes, because in America, Tom Jones is just… you’ve just got to mention his name. It’s immediate, and I’m sure it is in England, but he should be elevated and people understand when they see the show what a f***ing great talent he is!

5. There are some other brilliant guests too. Cindy Lauper, Sam Fender, and Carlos Santana. Was there something unexpected you may have learned from them that stood out?

Mark: Absolutely. If you just take Cindy, you’re reminded of what a fantastic voice she had and Brian would agree there. But she went on to have a career in film and musicals and you often forget that.

It helped us to remember that and, well, of course, she did. Because she is that talented and there’s a girl who could break through and do anything she wanted to do in spite of all the opposition.

Brian: We got to feel the warmth of these people too. We’d heard stories that Cindy could be difficult to work with and a former wild child, but nothing could be further from the truth.

She brought a dulcimer with her and was playing it, singing and it was just a wonderful surprise. Maybe it’s the way they felt so comfortable with us and I’m proud that me and Mark can, you know, spread that feeling.

6. You do your fair bit of globe-trotting for the show too, so I wanted to ask – where’s the weirdest place in the world you’ve heard an AC/DC or Dire Straits song being played?

Brian: I got a shock a few years ago when a study revealed that listening to AC/DC makes surgeons operate faster than they usually do. They concentrate more too, apparently!

Mark: A pal of mine said he heard Dire Straits in a taxi in Nepal. My friend asked the driver about it and he said, “That singer! He had balls of steel!” Music does translate and it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing when people feed back to you from around the world from the strangest places and the oddest circumstances. It’s resonating with people and with this show, we hope that our guests will find a place in the lives of the people who see the programme.

The Q&A continues in the Part 3 blog post. Click HERE to read the end of the Q&A, where Mark and Brian talk about Sam Fender.

Source: www.rollingstone.co.uk

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