Who are George and Harry from “Sultans of Swing”?

Who are George and Harry from “Sultans of Swing”?

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Dutch migrant Harry Vanda (left) formed Australia’s first major pop band, the Easybeats with friend George Young.

The Biggest mega-hit song – “Sultans of Swing” had defined generations, that song is totally an icon of the time. Written about some buddies that hit up a club after work, Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing” was the first single of the band and their greatest classic, hitting number 4 on the Billboard Charts in 1979.

“And Harry doesn’t mind, if he doesn’t, make the scene. He’s got a daytime job, he’s doing alright, he can play the honky-tonk like anything. Savin’ it up, for Friday night, with the Sultans, we are the Sultans of Swing…”

As they shine upon the stage, lead singer Mark Knopfler gives the performance of a lifetime on their “Alchemy Dire Straits Live” DVD released in 1984. He was inspired by one “crappy” band that he saw at one club many years ago, named Sultans Of Swing, comforting lost drunks with mediocre music, young Mark was immediately taken by the title and decided to create a story to put to it.

At that time Mark did not know how much of a hit that song will be. The interesting fact is that the “Guitar George” and “Harry” who are mentioned in the lyrics are George Young and Harry Vanda, who were guitarists in the band The Easybeats. George Young is Angus Young’s older brother, and Harry and George helped get AC/DC recorded.

Brothers Malcolm Young, George Young and Angus Young, 2012.

Any time we hear Mark’s iconic solo we get chills, which is why minute 4:52 and minute 7 are our absolute favorite. During this song, Dire Straits’ pianist Alan Clark is an absolute genius, his solo will stop your heart. This is one of the best solos ever, enjoy!

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