Happy Birthday – Alan Clark!

Happy Birthday – Alan Clark!

Alan Clark

Born on 5 March 1952 in Great Lumley, County Durham – Alan Clark was one of the keyboardists in the best music band in the world Dire Straits.

He is an English musician who was the first and main keyboardist for Dire Straits.

As a young child, he received piano lessons. At the age of 13 he began to play Hammond organ. During his career he played with various musicians and bands such as Geordie which featured Brian Johnson who later join AC/DC, he played with duo called Splinter (who were signed to George Harrison’s Dark Horse label), Bee Gees, Escape Club, Buddy Guy, Billy Joel, Lou Reed, David Knopfler, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Phil Collins, Bruce Willis and many more.

Clark also has recorded and played with duo called Splinter, Gallagher & Lyle and many more musicians and bands.

Clark becoming Dire Straits first keyboard player in 1980 when he joined them. He continued with Dire Straits, co-producing the band’s last album ‘On Every Street’ with Mark Knopfler, until the band’s eventual breakup in the midd-1990s.

In the 1983 he played on Bob Dylan’s album ‘Infidels’ and also on the following Empire Burlesque album. Alan Clark also worked with Knopfler on some of his film soundtrack work, most notably on the film Local Hero, in which he also makes a brief appearance as a piano player.

Clark also worked with David Knopfler on his solo albums and toured and recorded extensively with Eric Clapton as well as playing in the “Orchestra Nights” performances with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Kamen during the 24 Nights concerts as the Royal Albert Hall in 1990 and 1991.

Throughout his time with Dire Straits, he was also Tina Turner’s musical director, and played on and arranged her hit “Private Dance”.

In 2004 he performed the theme from Local Hero with Mark Knopfler at the opening of Alan Shearer’s bar in Newcastle United football ground. In 2010 Clark reunited with Dire Straits band members John Illsley and Phil Palmer at the XRoads club in Rome, Italy.

Mark Knopfler & Alan Clark

In 2011 he formed a band, the Straits, to play the music of Dire Straits at a charity show at the Albert hall, that featured drummer Steve Ferrone from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Dire Straits’ guitarist Phil Palmer. The band went on to perform other successful shows.

What Alan doing now?

“I’m just back from Rome where I’ve been writing songs for an Italian megastar whose album I’m producing with Phil Palmer, later this year.”

“In April, I’m going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fame at last! While it’s nice to receive recognition for my work with Dire Straits, I really can’t take it all seriously. That said, I’m considering having “LIVING LEGEND” tattooed on my forehead.”

“The LEGACY band is Steve Ferrone, Phil Palmer, Danny Cummings, Mel Collins, Trevor Horn (our new bass player), Primiano De Biase, Marco Caviglia and me. It’s essentially the same line-up/band as DSLegacy, the difference being LEGACY makes and plays original songs written mostly by myself and Phil Palmer, while Dire Straits Legacy plays Dire Straits’ music, although since we made the record we’ve been throwing in a few tracks from it with great success. A month or so ago, we were in Brazil playing a few shows. It was summer there.”

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