Back in 1978 when Dire Straits released their debut album, they were still with their own problems. At all, their first album was made of the songs that told us many of their problems with the money, girls, and their existence.
“Wild West End” is a wonderful song, a magnificent declaration of love in Soho’s streets and its women. The song is all about the lifestyle in the West End of London, fashionable area of London also popular with tourists.
This song will bring you back and awake all the moments of the past, as well as the deep and pleasant hidden memories in your head.
“Wild West End” is the number eight song on the Dire Straits debut album published on October 7, 1978. The song tells some daily vicissitudes in the East End area of London, UK, and it runs to 4 minutes and 42 seconds.
After the lead guitarist of the band Mark Knopfler moved to the capital of the United Kingdom, he had felt like most of the tourists – foreign and domestic. He enjoyed walking around the East End area, always with an eye on the pretty ladies.
He spots one particularly attractive young woman in Shaftesbury Avenue, another song on this album, “In The Gallery,” had its genesis in a different sort of encounter in that same street.
On this song, you can hear it, Mark Knopfler, as the vocal and lead guitarist, David Knopfler which was played on a guitar, John Illsley as a bassist, and Pick Withers on the drums.
The song begins with the first verse where Mark Knopfler has sung how he stepped out to the Angelucci Coffee bar. This was a famous coffee bar in West End most known for its own blend of coffee beans. With this verse, Knopfler actually had wanted to make an homage to that small coffee bar in Soho, where at the time he regularly drinks his coffee.
Also, this was a big theater area, with lots of shops and cinemas, so you can also hear Mark how he has sung: “Checking out the movies and the magazines.”
During the recording session for this album, Mark Knopfler has used different guitars. For this song he used and played on his 1938 National Style O (14 fret guitar). In the first verse of the song lyrics Mark has also sung: “I get a pickup for my steel guitar” – alluding on his famous resonator guitar which later was on the cover for the album “Brothers in Arms.”
“I saw you walking out Shaftesbury Avenue,” this was also a famous West End street which connects Piccadilly Circus to place such as Chinatown.
In the second verse of the song, Mark Knopfler has explained how he just went down to the Chinatown, located off Shaftesbury Avenue where he saw naughty things happening around in the back rooms of Chinatown restaurants, like gambling and prostitution.
Stepping out to Angelucci’s
For my coffee beans
Checking out the movies and the magazines
Waitress she watches me
Crossing from the Barocco Bar
I get a pickup for my steel guitar
I saw you walking out Shaftesbury Avenue
Excuse me for talking I wanna marry you
This is the seventh heaven street to me
Don’t you seem so proud
You’re just another angel
In the crowd and I’m…
Walking in the wild west end
Walking in the wild west end
Walking with your wild best friend
Now my conductress on the number nineteen
She was a honey (she was a honey)
Pink toenails and hands all dirty with the money
Greasy, greasy, greasy hair, easy smile
She made me feel nineteen for a while
I went down to Chinatown
In the back room, it’s a man’s world
All the money go down
Duck inside the doorway, duck to eat
Just ain’t no way
You and me, we can’t beat
Darling a go-go dancing girl
Yes I saw her
The DJ he says here’s Mandy for ya
I feel alright, saying now, do that stuff
She’s dancing high I move on by
The close-ups can get rough