Sami Kurki: “My story with Dire Straits started when I was 4 years old”

Sami Kurki: “My story with Dire Straits started when I was 4 years old”


Today we have one amazing short story to share with all Dire Straits fans and readers who read this blog. Sami Kurki is a 44 years-old guy from Finland. He made one amazing solo cover version of “Money For Nothing” on his Fender Baja Telecaster for Dire Straits Blog.

Down below is his version and his short story that Sami shared with us, check it down below after his video. Sami also before the interview told us a few words for the fans of DSB and Dire Straits:

“Thanks for the chance to share my Dire Straits – Story. Hope that I will make some other interviews also. Have a nice and hot summer – by the pool of course. The picture is taken a few years ago on a field near my home. I promise that I will post some others Dire Straits cover videos during the summer gigs! Cheers, and enjoy with this amazing music”, added Sami.

DSB: Can you tell us something about yourself, who is Sami Kurki?

Firstly, I want to thank to Dire Straits Blog for contacting me, I feel honored. I’m just a ‘regular’ guy from Finland, who’s been addicted to Dire Straits all the way back from 1978. Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler have been a part of my daily life all the way since I was a 5-year-old kid.

I’m almost 44 years which I now living in Lappeenranta, Finland. I spent my youth in Kuusankoski and Kouvola, in southern Finland.

DSB: Are you a professional musician?

I wouldn’t call myself as a professional musician – though I’ve played in bands now over 22 years. I still do gigs with several bands, even about 30-40 gigs a year. So that’s quite a lot, as I’m a father of three kids.

“He’s got a day time job, and he’s doin’ all right” they say. Even my wife, heh. I couldn’t think of my life without playing and doing gigs though – it really gives energy to all the other things in life.

DSB: What do you like to do in your spare time?

I actually don’t play guitar at home that much, mainly in gigs or rehearsals with bands. My other passion is ice hockey – 4-5 times a week. We live on a farm and we also have a lots of animals: horses, chickens, turkeys, quails, dogs, cats, a pig…so there’s a lot to handle with those also.

DSB: Can you tell us when and where did you learn to play guitar, because you are in a pretty good form?

Hmm, thanks for your kind words, really take that as a compliment. Actually I don’t consider myself as that good guitarist at all – I just try to follow my thin dreams about how my playing should sound like. Of course, when you listen to my playing, it’s clear that Mark Knopfler has always been the main inspiration and source of ideas for my playing. I’ve never took any lessons, I haven’t ever read a page of music theory etc. all the learning and playing has been just a long path to make my fingers to follow my thoughts. I’ve learned something. I actually started playing actively just 22 years ago. My parents didn’t allow me to buy or play guitar at home when I was young. The very first thing I bought to my first flat was-of course- a guitar!


DSB: What kind of music do you like and who is your favorite music bands/artists?

Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler of course…but I also listen quite a lot of different types of music, like ‘60s: The Who, The Searchers, Kinks – even harder rock like Kiss, Extreme, Van Halen, AC/DC, Rhino Bucket, Steve Vai, just to mention some. And of course the legendary instrumental bands like The Shadows, Ventures, Agents (from Finland).

DSB: About Dire Straits, when was the first time when you listened to a song from them, which song was that and when was the first cover version that you made from Dire Straits?

I was just a 5-years old kid, living mainly with my grandparents after my parents divorced. My uncle bought the first Dire Straits LP record and I put that on his Dual LP player – and that was it. I still DO remember that day. I played that record day after day. He also had some The Shadows record with Hank Marvin’s Stratocaster on cover – these two made it – all I dreamed ever after was of course a red electric guitar. (which I got ‘just’ 25 years after that…).

The song was popular classic hit “Sultans of Swing” – no surprise for anyone, I ques. The first cover version was some recording from 90’s, and it was on two-acoustic guitar version of “The Man’s Too Strong”.

DSB: Which are your favorite classic songs from Dire Straits?

My favorites…hmm. A hard question to answer with a short list. But I’d say: Telegraph Road, Expresso Love, Water of Love, Tunnel of Love, Portobello Belle, Lions, Down to the Waterline, Love over Gold and Solid Rock.

DSB: How many cover version of Dire Straits songs have you made?

Not that much. I ques Water of Love is the only song I’ve played with vocals on a gig. Plus that, just some instrumental ‘jam’ versions of Sultans of Swing. The bands I play in aren’t that ‘DS style bands’ so we’ve left those songs out of your sets. Which has more or less been a good thing. I think Dire Straits songs should be treated with respect, and you really have to have a band with serious interest to make them sound like that. Though my sounds and style of playing has brought up a lot of comments during the years like ‘this is not a DS song so could you not try to make them sound like one’.

DSB: Do you enjoy listening to music from Dire Straits?

I still do. Every day. I think there hasn’t been a day in my life without at least thinking of their songs in my head every single day. People who know me – they really know that.

DSB: What is your motto in life and what is that which motivates you to continue with good vibes and positive energy in life?

‘If you believe – you can achieve’. I’m really a sensitively-crazy person, putting myself into tasks and projects that seem to be impossible. That’s the way I’ve always reached something positive – and big things. If something doesn’t go the way I’ve planned – Why worry?

DSB: And for the end can you tell something to all fans who read the Dire Straits Blog?

Sure! For me Dire Straits hasn’t been just a band among the others. It’s been a way of ‘life’, it has given me inspiration, something to always return to after good or bad times. I’ve had a pleasure to meet some awesome friends with same kind of experience with this very unique band and sound. If it’s not Straits for you – I hope you have lived things through music with some other band in your life.

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