John Illsley is “honored” but “surprised”, his former band Dire Straits have been nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Among the other, at the listed are: Bon Jovi, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Nina Simone, The Cars, Eurythmics, Moody Blues.
The top five will be decide by a public vote with the input from over 800 artists, historians and music industry insiders. The winners will be announced in December 2017 and inducted on April, 14 2018 at a ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dire Straits are certainly strong contenders as one of the biggest bands ever, founded in 1977, they spent a staggering 1,100 weeks on the UK album charts making them the fifth longest chart act of all time.
Dire Straits sold over 120 million records worldwide, and their album “Brothers In Arms” is been sold in more than 30 million copies. They were awarded with many awards as: Grammy, Brits, MTV Video Awards, an Ivor Novello. They were the first band to sell over 1,000,000 copies of a CD.
John Illsley is one of the former members of the band, who together with Mark Knopfler remained to the end, until the band was splitted in 1995. His bass riffs contributed much to Dire Straits sound.
When “Dire Straits story” end, John embarked on ‘a quiet life’ in the New Forest with partner Stephanie. Today, apart from owning and running his local pub – The East End Arms at Lymington, he continues to enjoy a music career as a solo performer alongside his other life as exhibiting painter.
These days there is a lot of talk about the nomination of Dire Straits in Rock &Roll Hall of Fame, so John had an interview for Daily Echo where he talked about it. He said:
“It came as a bit of surprise, although someone said to me ‘Gosh, we thought you already were in the Hall of Fame!’. It’s an honor there’s no doubt about it. It’s been 40 years since “Sultans of Swing” came out… as you get older time does go a lot more quickly.”
John also says that he has spoken briefly to Mark Knopfler about the nomination and he was very pleased about it.
“You don’t do it for awards, you do it because you love it. We have our own style and way of doing things”, added John. Among their countless awards one stands out: “The Ivor Novello was a special one which Mark and I got for our contribution to British music. It has special place in my office.”
John doesn’t live in the past though and is still actively making music and performing. John with his new band have UK Tour and he adds that this is nothing like the madness of his Dire Straits days.
“We use to go out on tour for a year, the last tour was a year and a half and 250 shows…that was a bit bonkers. It was an extraordinary experience.”
With six solo albums in hand, John head off on tour on (October 19) with his new band. John said that he will perform music from his latest album ‘Long Shadows’ and also songs from Dire Straits.
Source: Daily Echo
Photo by: Stuart Martin