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Author Topic: Old Emails  (Read 21851 times)


  • Not Quite The Movie Star
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Old Emails
« on: February 20, 2009, 02:35:18 PM »
I was having a clear out and found a pile of old floppy disks. On them I found some emails I had saved from the old Telegraph Road mailing list.

I had saved them as text files so I don't know when they are from exactly, but most likley 96-99.

I thought some people may be interested, starting off with MK/DS sales figures up to 1998:

So, up until now, just how many albums have been sold over the years ?

                               Dire Straits - 10,406,805 Communiqu
"You can't polish a doo-doo" - Mark Knopfler


  • Not Quite The Movie Star
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Re: Old Emails
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 02:37:35 PM »

I just returned from London, where I was lucky enough to get into Ronnie Scotts,
although I did not have a reservation.

So -- if you fancy going w/o a reservation, it is _not_ a problem to get in. The
have approx. 100 (my guess) standing places, and the view is perfect from
everywhere. The club is really small and cozy, and the Guinness good... I
suggest you start queueing not earlier than 7.30pm -- doors open at 8.30pm, and
stand-byers get in after all the people with reservations have been seated. On
Monday, everybody got in who wanted to.

The show itself is good, even if it's quite similar to last year's. The track
list -- from memory, so accuracy might be less than 100% -- is:

Run Me Down
One Way Gal
Good Rockin' Tonight
Your Own Sweet Way
Railroad Worksong
Why Worry
Water of Love
Hobo's Lullaby
Meet Me in The Bottom

Nothing exceptional, absolutely identical to last year. Chris White (remember
Dire Straits?) played on many songs, and was joined on sax by Dave O. Higgins,
whose quartett opened for the Hillbillies with a few uptempo Jazz tunes.

Brendan sang great (One Way Gal, Hobo's Lullaby), and Water of Love was as
beautiful as ever. Oh, and I still think that Why Worry simply does not fit the
style of the rest of the show...

Denomination Blues
KC Moan
Can't Be Satisfied
Blues Stay Away From Me
Calling Elvis
Mississippi Blues
Cold Drink of Water
Mystery Train
Tomorrow Night
House Rockin' Blues
Are We In Trouble Now
Setting Me Up

Denomination Blues was a lot better back in 1997, but still has Guy Fletcher on
guitar (also on KC Moan and Can't Be Satisfied) and great vocals by Brendan
(also on KC Moan).

Blues Stay Away was completely re-arranged, with Guy on Lap Steel Guitar and
Steve Phillips on keyboards (!), although both were hardly audible. It also had
a a fiddle player (I think it was on this song...), whose name was Billy (...),
but who played little.

Calling Elvis rocked.

Cold Drink of Water replaced Bewildered and is a similarly average song, as are
Mystery Train, Tomorrow Night and House Rockin' Blues -- i.e., all the new
songs, disappointingly.

Setting Me Up was unbelievable, especially because of the the fiddle player.
This is a killer version!

Feel Like Going Home
His Latest Flame
Next Time I'm In Town

The usual stuff. Brendan was great.

More & general notes:

1. The jokes were approximately the same ones as last year and the year before.

2. Knopfler was seated during large parts of the show.

3. Occasionally, there were too many instruments used. What, e.g., does one need
two sax players for? Chris White, however, played well, contrary to my initial
fears that a sax might not very well fit the overall style.

4. Getting autographs is possible.

5. If you're in London, don't forget to attend a play at the beautiful,
_open-air_ Shakespeare Globe, and if you love ballet, the Bolshoi at the

Yours, THOMAS.


Hello T-Roadies,

As one who attended the Nashville event, I'm extremely envious of those
that are able to attend the Ronnie Scott's gigs.  I found this review
searching the CNNfn site... thought you might enjoy it (especially you
bootleggers in the front row - you know who you are!)

Ken Donaldson
Lawrenceville, Georgia USA


Arts Reviews: Just one of the lads Mark Knopfler's `pub' band is anything
but dire, says Robin Denselow
The Guardian

`This', said Mark Knopfler `is a short course in three or four chords and a
mis-spent youth'.

The one-time leader of Dire Straits was perched on a stool at Ronnie
Scott's, surrounded by old friends with whom he had indeed spent much of
his youth, and who now looked like a veteran pub band on a night out.

There was Steve Phillips, the blues guitarist with whom he once played in
an outfit called the Duolian String Pickers, back in Leeds in the late
sixties. There was Brendan Croker, that other great veteran of the Leeds
roots music scene, and Guy Fletcher, who played in the final Dire Straits
line-up. At the back, cheerfully and remarkably sucessfully tapping away at
the drums, was none other than Ed Bicknell, Knopfler's manager and thus one
of the most successful businessmen in the British music industry.

Knopfler first assembled the Hillbillies eight years ago, when they
recorded an album that was predictably classy, but too restrained to do
them all justice.

Now they are back, with no new product to promote, presumably because
Knopfler thought it would be fun, and he felt like playing a really small
venue for a change.

They have a two-week residency at Ronnie Scott's and Knopfler is clearly
enjoying himself - in a typically laid-back way. He may be the unquestioned
star of the line-up, but he never dominates the proceedings. Vocals and
guitar solos are democratically swapped around.

So Phillips, a strangely military figure with his moustache and white hair,
gets to show off his excellent blues slide guitar work, and Croker, looking
like an excited gipsy, shows off his under- estimated vocal skills, on
anything from calypso to early Presley.

The great delight of the Hillbillies is that they are genuine music fans
with great eclectic taste, and for over two hours they traded favourite
songs, switching from American folk-blues and rockabilly to JJ Cale, Bo
Diddley or Charlie Rich - and of course their own material.

Knopfler's selection ranged from latter-day Straits (the chugging,
Cale-like Calling Elvis) through to the country-tinged The Next Time I'm In
Town, and a brooding version of his recent ballad Are We In Trouble Now.
Here, at last, he did allow himself an extended, powerful and fluid guitar
solo that proved he has lost none of his old touch. This was far more
exciting than the Hillbillies' album. I hope it was being recorded - and
not just by the boot-leggers down at the front.

Until August 1. Box office: 0171-439 0747

(Copyright 1998)

_____via IntellX_____

Publication Date: July 24, 1998
Powered by NewsReal's IndustryWatch


Despite what I said earlier.....I have copied and pasted the entire
review for non-Times readers' delectation...

A youth far from misspent
The Notting Hillbillies
Ronnie Scott's, London W1

With a second solo album still under construction more than a year after
it was begun, Mark Knopfler continues to pursue the leisurely itinerary
of a man who has much to savour in life and little to prove. A
compilation of old Dire Straits hits is scheduled for release later this
year, but it is his "other" group, the Notting Hillbillies, that
continues to claim his attention in the present, just, and to foster his
affection for playing live.

Only a year since they last toured Britain, the Hillbillies completed a
residency at Ronnie Scott's in Birmingham last week, and began a two-
week stretch at the club's more famous Soho premises on Monday. With no
record to promote (their only album remains the 1990 release Missing . .
. Presumed Having A Good Time) and certainly no T-shirts to sell, they
remained free to pursue their musical instincts in a way that was
significantly more relaxed than is usually the case in the pop world.

"Here's what you can do with three or four chords and a misspent youth,"
Knopfler said before launching into a good-natured set of heritage
rock'n'roll, encompassing such standards as Roy Brown's Good Rockin'
Tonight and Howlin' Wolf's Meet Me At The Bottom along with a selection
of the usual traditional shouts from the Hillbilly repertoire (Run Me
Down, Railroad Worksong) and an almost as old-sounding Water Of Love
from the first Dire Straits album. Wearing black dinner jackets over
rumpled white shirts, the silver-haired guitarists Brendan Croker, Steve
Phillips and Knopfler spearheaded the attack, each taking lead vocals in
turn, while Ed Bicknall (drums), Marcus Cliffe (bass) and Guy Fletcher
(keyboards) provided a crisp, uncluttered rhythmic foundation.

Croker rather overplayed his hand, gurning clumsily and even shouting
down one of Knopfler's introductions, but Phillips approached the task
with just the right degree of nonchalant bravado.

Inevitably, though, it was Knopfler who took the honours, his gentle
rasp of a voice still a more moving experience than that provided by any
number of more technically accomplished singers, and his achingly
deliquescent guitar solo on Your Own Sweet Way simply enchanting.


Paul Graber



   Please tolerate any incoherence, typing errors etc.
We got back to my Sister's house in Sheffield at 00.30 hours this morning
and had to be up at 04.30 to get the train back to Newcastle in time for
School and work.
The brain is still asleep somewhere, but not in the body.
   The DAT recorder lost it's little button for opening the lid so I
spent up to my mastercard limit, and the treats , holidays etc for the
rest of the year on travelling out of Sheffield to the only place there
that had anything suitable. I now own a Sony Mini Disc recorder.. which I
could NOT afford and will have to go back to the person who Hired me the DAT
and tell him I broke it!

   I spent the first part of the Show 4 running around the City Hall
in places where I should not have been, trying to organise a line feed.
Robert Collins was out having something to eat, saw Brendan  Croker who told
me to return half an hour later. Naturally he asked why I wanted to see
Collins, so I told him.. 
   Permission was refused, Stephen (son) got the awful job of holding the
mikes stationary forfor 90 mins, without clapping, or moving or anything.
I played with my camera.

   The recording is not up to CD standard as we were in the midst of
other people and getting in a better position would have affected other
people's sight lines which wouldn't have been fair on them. Also, we did
forget now and then and sing along... Hmmm.. I don't think the Fleming
family backed by Mark Knopfler will be a big success!!
   It isn't a BAD recording but isn't GOOD.
Obviously,  there is crowd noise and such like, but seeing as how I
only bought the D*** machine 2 hours earlier, we had to sit and read up
how to use it as we waited for the show to start!
   As we were all singing along to Own Sweet Way, Mark got the audience
volume up, then said, "Sing up, you'll all be on the bootleg".
Collapse of the Flemings!
   For those who like to know these things, Mark was wearing a dark
Grey suit with a white shiny silk fitted shirt which I would kill for!
When he took his jacket off, he was at a loss as to what to do with it as
he said, it was too good to drop onto the floor. He wasn't kidding, it
was a lovely suit!
   SET LIST. (my job)

Run Me Down.
One Way Gal.
Blues Stay Away From ME.
Will You Miss Me.
Why Worry.
Your Own Sweet Way.
Railroad Worksong.
A Train song which we didn't know. We hadn't heard it before. "Train,
Train" ?????
Setting Me Up.
Feel Like Going Home. (With the most horrible note I've ever heard coming
   from a guitar.... Ugh, Mark what were you thinking of?
   Brain and fingers were NOT together)

Going Home - played by Mark and Guy.
The Next Time I'm in Town - a real surprise to hear this.
Nadine (?)  - (a good old rock and roll number?)

_______________ The End ________

Didn't bother with the arrangement to give
Mark the book, went to the stage door instead. Got three Hillbilly autographs.
 Mr Phillips had gone out of the Front door!

Handed over the Book,
"UGH, Thanks, I'll look at it" he said ...  hope he will! 

Guy Fletcher is TOO young.
Guy said that there are NO plans for a DS album
in the Near Future, but "We haven't gone away".

It was dark and I didn't have a flash so no photos there, only in the Hall.

Then Mark edged his way away from the half dozen middle aged, or almost
people there and went.

Sorry for verbosity. Hope I've answered everyone.

I included a stamped envelope and a request for a message to you all, so
keep your finger's crossed!



"You can't polish a doo-doo" - Mark Knopfler


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Re: Old Emails
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 02:38:22 PM »
Hello Everyone!!

As promised, here is my review of the Notting Hillbillies concert at the
Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, at May 23.

We went with a couple of 7 persons from Holland to London by train on
Friday. Me, Jeroen van Tol, Lars Blaauw, Cor and Mieke Beunder, Henk
Pestman and Marius van Andel.

Because of healthy reasons, Mieke Beunder was obliged to be moved by a
wheelchair, which appeared to be our luck, as the security offered us an
entrance through the stage door, instead of standing in the row.
And we were rather late, about 40 minutes before the doors were opened.

We entered the building at 19.00 hours sharp, and we were the first!!
So excellent places, Mark at two meters in front of us!!
The concert was perfect, and they had a lot of fun playing!
We started to sing "happy birthday" to Guy Fletcher, as it was his
birthday on Saturday 24th, and they liked it, and thanked us!

After 2 songs, during some quitness, I shouted "I think I love you too
much" (as I was hoping they would play this song), and Steve answered
"not after we are married!" Real fun!

The setlist is mostly the same as all the others, and we managed to get
the official setlist of the second set!
Here it is:


2. K.C. MOAN

NOW WE HAVE A FEW DRINKIES AND ALL FALL OVER! (this line stood at the 
                          end of the page).

For the setlist of the first half I refer to Hazel's mail.
A nice joke during the first half was, that Steve was starting a real
Blues song, rahter slow. Mark was concentrated playing his guitar, and
Steve was singing. After some lines, he said: stop, stop, this ain't
moving!! Mark was rather surprised, and started laughing, when Steve
said to the band: Come on! let's hit this son of a bitch! And with a
full tempo they started the song again!!
Jokes and impressions seem to be too much to tell you, but I know that
all the concerts were filmed on video, and also a lot audio, so I'll be
sure that everybody interested, gets a chance to enjoy all this wiht us!

After the concert there were about 30/40 people waiting and hoping to
see/meet them in person!
And I thought there were too many people to get a chance that they would
allow anybody to enter the stage door, but...... Finally after some long
time waiting, EVERYBODY could get in (one by one) to get a signature and
a short chat/handshaking!!! It was brilliant! I said to Mark, and he was
smiling at me, and said: Thank you very much, he gave me a hand, and I
told him I was Martijn from Holland! He said: Well, that is a long way
from home!! There also was a picture taken from me, and the picture is
very nice!
I talked shortly to all bandmembers, and I think this is very special
for a band to do!!
We even saw some other fans/ T-roadies we knew like Thomas Gygax!

The day after, we were sitting in a bus, and we saw Ed Bicknell walking
near a bank-building, so what a coinsidence!!
We also went to Portobelle Road, 16 Lambton Place (damage management) in
Notting Hill, and had an unforgetable weekend!!

All the best,



For those who are gagging for another NHB review, please understand that I
was too transfixed with the show to make notes, but here goes....

Birmingham Symphony Hall, Thursday 22nd May 1997.
First of all, the venue.  Its a purpose built symphony hall, with adjustable
'baffles' which can be raised or lowered from the roof, to adjust the
accoustics of the hall, depending upon the type of music being played.  Thats
the theory.  In practice, the hall has two big problems for a 'band' kind of
1)  The hall is too reverberant.  When Ed hit a drum, it echo'ed round the
hall too much.
2) Its too tall.  Half of the seats are between 30-80 feet (I guess) above
stage level.  There were big speaker array's either side of the stage, but
they were aiming straight outward, and some people were seated miles above
the stage, and only heard 'reflections' of the sound, instead of direct sound
from the speakers.
>From where I was sitting, the sound was not ideal, but you get used to it.

Most of what I could have said about the concert has been said already, so
here are the bits that havnt been said.

General set :-
Hillbillies in the first half (apart from Why Worry) / general blues, DS, &
GH in the second half.

Mark was soooooo relaxed on stage.  At sometimes, he was too relaxed.  Some
of the intros / solos where he wasnt playing, he did that 'Walk Of Life'
thing.  You know, where he holds the guitar at either end of the body, away
from his hip, and rocks it back and forth in time with the music (aka drum
solo in WOL live versions).  He was so 'into' it, when his part came up - he
wasnt ready - still rocking his guitar and day dreaming !  This happened
several times, especially during Ed's mamouth solo on Cannibals.

The second half was IMHO the best.  One spine tingling moment was after a
false 'goodnight'.  They say 'goodnight etc....' and walk of stage.  Stay of
stage for 10 mins while the audience keep up heavy cheering, clapping, and
whistling.  Then Mark, and Guy, came back on stage.  Guy starts up the chords
for 'Wild Theme' (using a Korg Trinity workstation - for the keyboard players
out there...), and Mark lays the guitar part over the sting/piano backing.
 Fantastic.  One of those moments that makes you want to cry.  I was most
impressed with Guy's playing the whole night.  You expect excellence from MK,
but sometimes forget the wonderful musicians that surround him.

<< The version of Calling Elvis was a little shorter than on recent
DS/MK tours I think, with less of the wonderful descending MK riff
which I love.  >>
Yes, the main counter meledy thats normally played by Paul Franklin was
notably missing.  The NHB's made a good attempt at it, and the suspense
created was superb, but the pedal steel riff that drives the piece was
missing badly.  I think that Guy sould have sequenced that part, it was so

<< Nothing can ever compare to the version I heard last year at the Albert
Hall, but this was enjoyable nonetheless. >>
I must aggree, I saw the NHB's at Birmingham Town Hall during the original
tour, and that gig blew me away.  This one was not quite as good.  Although,
I was constantly thinking about the posibillity of meeting them afterwards,
and it distracts your attention from the music.  Im sure your mind would
wonder if you had the chance to meet MK too !

<<After the huge applause following the second encore, they
played another verse or two with the house lights on. They all lined
up and soaked up the applause, bowing and smiling, with Mark waving
his white towel. And then they were gone.. I think it was about
10.30pm by then. >>
I took a couple of photos then, and if they are any good, I will of course
publish them on my homepage.

While we were waiting outside the stage door, Ed Bicknell and Marcus were
peering down through some blinds at us, pointing and play fighting amongst
themselves.  The excitement mounted....

<< We were initially told the band would be about 45 minutes, after a shower
photo shoot, but after only 20 minutes they all came out to see us.  >>
I think they told us that to put off a few fans, and leave a smaller number
remaining when they did come out.

<< I don't want to overdo it and appear tragic, but it really was a great
moment for me. >>
I was wearing a grin the size of the Tyne Bridge when they came out.  Its
taken untill now for the thrill to subside.

I envy Hazel who was amongst only a few fans - and was invited inside for a
more informal chat with the band.  Unfortunatly, there were about 30 of us,
and it turned into a bit of a rugby scrum.  Everyone wanted to speak to MK.
 I think the others felt a bit left out.  The programme signing was a
production line, and my programme got lost as it was passed around... imagine
how it felt ;-(  Fortunatly, I ended up with one signed by the band.  It was
that chaotic that mine was signed by Steve, Bremdan, Guy.... Marcus was left
out, and MK signed it twice !
While the mass of fans were pushing in the direction of Mark (to the far
right), Ed stood at the left hand side and watched in ammusment.  No-one was
interested in him !   But he was laughing, smiling, and cracking jokes the
whole time.  I asked him what he thought of the venue, and he quipped 'Its
the only place we have played, where the seagulls throw bread at the humans
!'  (reffering to the seating perched high up in the hall).

By the time I got close to MK, he was tierd and just turning to leave.  'Mark
- have you got time for one more ?' got me some eye contact.  You could see
his soul through his eyes.  They said 'Its nice that all these people
appreciate me, but I cant understand why'.  You could easily see a kind and
humble man.  Not to famous to speak to the addoring masses.  Not to tierd to
spend time with the people that gave him the wonderful lifestyle that his now

<< We want stories of at least 2500 words. What DS songs? What MK songs? Is
Paul Franklin in the band? How about the merchandise? The jokes, the
gossip, tell us everything................... >>
Paul Franklin was sadly missing.  Calling Elvis will never be the same
without him. 

<< We had the "special pills" line in "next time I'm in town" >>
Id never heard that one before, and for others like me, it went ....
"I thank you for those special PILLS,
 keep me going on UNTILS
.... the next time Im in town"

<< Ed obviously loves every second on stage, hopping and jumping about,
throwing his drumsticks into the air and usually catching them (not always) -
he could develop into the clown of the group quite easily >>
I aggree.  Ed is usually behind the scenes, making all the deals.  He has
obviously found a new thrill in performing on stage, and having fans queing
up to see him after the show.  He loved every minute.

<< Having been forwarned , there were no surprises in the list. >>

A wonderfull night.  I do feel priviliged that I can go and see MK whenever
he tours this country.  How would the europeans who travelled up to
Birmingham describe the trip ?  Was it worth it ?  Of course it was.



Hi all

First, a hint for anyone trying to drive out of Oxford in a hurry at
rush hour - take a train (like Stuart did). My girlfriend and I set
out for the Birmingham Symphony Hall at 5.45pm, for an 8pm
start. About three quarters of an hour later we finally got out of
Oxford, and at about 6.35pm we finally found some free road and I
stepped on the gas, distraught that I was bound to miss the
start. Speeding up the M40 at 90 miles per hour in a clapped out car,
we found the car park, rushed into the Convention Centre where the
Symphony Hall is located, had a quick loo stop, and found our seats at
8.00pm exactly! Cutting it fine, but it set us up for a fine evening

The band came on a couple of minutes later, the same as described in
previous reviews, with Brendan and Steve in long black overcoats
(which Steve took off later but Brendan kept on). Mark was in black
Levis (which I happened to be wearing too!) and a black silk shirt
(which I wasn't!). I'm afraid that for the setlist I hope that Stuart
or Thomas were paying more close attention - I can't even remember
what they started with. All I know is that they were pretty close to
Hazel's setlist all the way.

They played a couple of things I had never heard before, but which
were really beautiful, most notably Hobo's Lullaby. As usual, Mark was
excellent, and all were in a relaxed and joking mood, jibing about
"cheap music" and "expensive shirts" (Mark's). Ed enjoyed his drum
outro to Cannibals, drawing it out a bit, while Mark made a few
mocking gestures to the audience in reference to Ed getting carried
away. Steve and Brendan seemed to be on good form; Steve really looked
the part in his black overcoat while we thought that Brendan looked
like a tramp in his! Since when has Brendan been bald? Brendan's voice
was really excellent and was forever joking about. Guy came down from
his keyboard a couple of times to play his national, standing to the
left of Steve (they had the same layout as for Matt's Glasgow review).

There was an excellent and moving version of Why Worry, with MK's
guitar and vocals augmented by the great backing of Steve and
Brendan. The hillbilly's tracks were kept quite close the the album
versions, and I especially enjoyed the calypso-esque One Way Gal, and
Railroad Worksong, with Marcus' solo at the start. Mark seemed to
really get into Your Own Sweet Way, and I was pleased to hear a great
version of one of my favourite Golden Heart tracks, Are we in Trouble Now.
When Brendan or Steve took lead vocals, Mark's backing vocals were
quite impressive. All in all, they are a brilliant little
country-blues outfit, and worked really well together on stage. At one
point, Steve started out on a slow, melancholic blues tune, and then
stopped, exclaiming "This doesn't *move* me", at which point the band
broke into a faster country-blues number (can't remember which
though... help me out). I personally didn't think that Ed's drumming
was up to much - he was pretty good but not wonderful. But that's the
great thing about this band... they're just a bunch of mates having a
good time, and producing some wonderful entertainment at the same
time. The version of Calling Elvis was a little shorter than on recent
DS/MK tours I think, with less of the wonderful descending MK riff
which I love. Nothing can ever compare to the version I heard last
year at the Albert Hall, but this was enjoyable nonetheless.

A real non-musical highlight of the evening was seeing the people just
in front of me in the front row (I think Thomas knew them). There were
a couple of small girls, aged maybe 5 and 8 or thereabouts, who were
*really* getting into the music, dancing about in their seats, and
singing along. At the start of each song they would whisper to each
other what song it was, and were usually right! The younger one
especially liked singing out loud to the "are we in trouble now" bit,
out of tune, drawing an embarrassed snigger from here elder sister (I
assume). Then two seats to their right was an elderly lady, maybe
about 80, who also seemed to enjoy it. This sums up Mark's wide
appeal, and it was nice to see.

Mark came on alone for the first encore, playing a really great Wild
Theme - that melody just doesn't grow old. It was really
perfect, totally alone on stage. The band came back on and signed off
with Next time I'm in Town, as for one of the previous gig
reviews. After the huge applause following the second encore, they
played another verse or two with the house lights on. They all lined
up and soaked up the applause, bowing and smiling, with Mark waving
his white towel. And then they were gone.. I think it was about
10.30pm by then.

The stewards told me during the interval that the band had to rush off
to London after the show for the Shepherd's Bush gig the next day,
rather than stay the night there. Therefore they said they didn't know
if the band would have time to come out to see any waiting
fans. This didn't deter us and about another 30 fans from waiting by
the equivalent of the stage door after the show. The Symphony Hall is
sort of contained within the National Exhibition Centre, which
appeared to be really modern and clean and quite impressive. Anyway,
so the "stage door" was actually just a door from the Symphony Hall bit
out into the big central foyer of the Exhibition Centre, so unlike the
poor souls in Sunderland, we waited in the warm and dry. We were
initially told the band would be about 45 minutes, after a shower and
photo shoot, but after only 20 minutes they all came out to see us. It
really was quite an amazing moment, to see MK just stroll toward you,
to be that close. I don't want to overdo it and appear tragic, but it
really was a great moment for me. I shook his hand, and exchanged a
couple of words, and got him to sign a page of my Golden Heart tour
brochure, along with all the other band members. They were all really
friendly and took the time to sign and shake hands, and chat to
whoever wanted to, always smiling. Ed broke into song when I gave him
my GH brochure to sign "I remember when..." he sung, while Brendan
joked that it was the wrong band!

My view of MK's character was confirmed - he really is a huge talent,
one of the best guitarists and song writers to have lived, but yet he
is so down to earth and friendly. He actually looks at you, chats to
you, smiles at you. He wasn't just going through the motions - he was
doing it because he wanted to; he seemed genuinely happy to meet
people who listen to his music - we are *not* taken for granted like
some unseen mass of people who just pay his huge wages. It matches
with his desire to play small venues, to get back close to the
people. He's done his giant stadiums and long world tours, probably
still could, now he seems very happy to be where he is.

A great evening. I'm still buzzing the day after at having met Mark in
person. Hope the review wasn't too dull or lacking in
content. Hopefully other t-roadies present (Stuart Homer and Thomas
Gygax at least) will provide a different perspective and fill in the
bits I have forgotten to mention.



"You can't polish a doo-doo" - Mark Knopfler


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Re: Old Emails
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009, 02:39:51 PM »
Hi, Troadies, part two.....

I hope you read this after the other one.

   We emerged into  a very cold, extremely wet Sunderland after the
show, but some of us (six in total and 50% of those were TRoadies!!)
stood and shivered at the stage door until called round to another door
where we waited another 10 or so shivering minutes. I thought they'd
just run through the rain and on to the bus without stopping, But ....

Then the door opened and we were ushered inside.

They had taken the trouble to put a couple of tables in the corridor so
that the whole of the Hillbillies could sign autographs and they were
lined up (rather like a Police Identity parade) waiting for us.
They had changed and were in T shirts etc, and as I keep saying to all of
you too scared to approach them, they are just men, and could have been
anyone in the bar.

There were six of them and six of us and it was *so* relaxed and we were
all laughing joking and enjoying ourselves... and we were left with the
feeling that *they* were enjoying it too.  We got T shirts signed,
programmes, bits of paper whatever we had  (although we were warned only
one or two autographs each... which we all stuck to)

I asked Guy Fletcher for an extra one for a Fletcher fan who couldn't get to
any of the shows and even had to miss the Jimmy nail show where Guy
played. Guy wrote a short message for this person, which was very good of
him, when all i asked for was the autograph.

Mark didn't say much, but he was obviously taking it all in... after it's
usually dark outside a theatre and this was inside in the lights. He
probably doesn't see the after show fans in the light very often!

And it's difficult to write what was said, general laugh and repartee is
impossible to remember and transcribe. But the atmosphere remains in the

For son and me it was odd, we had after all spoken to Bren and Steve only
a few weeks earlier. Bren nudged Mark and said, "These two have seen us
before" (I had talked with Bren last sept in Sheffield as well) so we
were able to complain about the lack of "Weapon of prayer" which we'd
requested and it was a case of "Blame him, and him and him!" ie Mark,
Steve and Guy.

I gave Ed a copy of our Sheffield Hillbillie tape, and also complimented
him on the staff at Damage Management. I've phoned them a few times and
they are always *very* helpful, friendly and polite. Mark has a good team
behind him.
Son and I were last out and left the building as Ed left.

So NEVER worry about approaching them after shows, be sensible, don't
grovel or pester and you'll be surprised. I know Everyone who has met MK
and any of the others will agree.

One or two extra comments about the show.
There was plenty. It's so obvious when a group of blokes enjoy working
together. All of the guitars were on stage, which is unusual with MK. he
commented that it was "very vulgar.-- just like a shop" "Bet you can't
play them all at once" shouted one of the audience, I felt MK was less
than pleased at that and answered "I bet you can't either, sunshine".
In response to something said on stage, someone (the same person?) shouted
that what he could see was a lot of bald heads.
I thought this rather unfair, but Bren responded and brought that episode
to a humourous conclusion.

We had the "special pills" line in "next time I'm in town" which no one
seemed to notice. (the audience was not all that welcoming)

But it was a wonderful night, we met other TRoadies from home and abroad,
(embarrasing to talk to someone who says they recognise you from the N&N
page!) heard some wonderful music and met some nice blokes afterwards. We
even caught the last train back to Newcastle.



Hello TRoadies,
   I wrote these notes out last night, or rather, very early
this morning (2am) after the Hillbillies show.

1. General view of show.
2. Set List.
3.The "after show" meet!

1. It was an excellent show, spoilt only by the complete lack of audience
participation in the sing-along-songs. If only they'd known that the
longer they sang, the longer the band would string it out.......

As it was the show ran for approx 127 mins.

Like the previous report of the shows, we were at the right hand side and
failed to see Guy at his keyboard but saw him playing the National at the
start of the second half. We have told them that the speakers obscure the
view... but it's too late now!

That aside, we enjoyed the show as much as we thought we would.
To save your download time, I refer you back to the previous report as to
stage layout, clothing etc. Although BC *did* take his overcoat off for
the encores.

My assistant, (my son) wrote down the track list this time but he can't
remember Rock and Roll and early blues so the acoustic pieces may not
have correct titles. When I've listened to the MD recordings I will
probably be able to put names to those pieces.
Set list will be at the end of this.

Last year, I said my dream show would be Mark unplugged, well MK, BC, SP
and GF made that dream come true for a short time tonight.

The second half opened with the 4 of them on stage. MK and GF with
Nationals, Bren and Steve with acoustics. And it was bliss! My son
prefers the rockier stuff like "Calling Elvis" but I could have done with
more of the blues/acoustic work.  However, having seen Steve play slide
steel in a blues club, I have to say that Mark's slide playing on *the*
National was not all that impressive in comparison.
The audience, on the whole did not know (or like?) that type of music,
but it was an education for them. Mix in a little of what people don't
know with what they do and they may grow to like the "new" stuff.
My problem is a lack of memory, I know the stuff, but the brain doesn't
remember titles!

It was a very wide range of music and it was nice to see that Marcus and
Ed came more into the spotlight. Ed obviously loves every second on
stage, hopping and jumping about, throwing his drumsticks into the air
and usually catching them (not always) - he could develop into the clown of
the group quite easily,
He and Marcus were larking about at the back, "having a good time"... Ed was
last off the stage, the others had gone leaving him taking a final bow.

Musically, they were on top form, No obvious blunders (we did have our
fingers crossed in "Feel like going home" hoping there would not be a
repeat of the Sheffield error, but he did it well.) "Setting me up" had a
different ending, from others we've heard.
Railroad worksong was given a stonking good treatment, the best we've
heard. Hobos Lullaby was also excellently done. Bren was in really good form.


This will get full and correct titles when I've heard through them again.

Title.            guitar used by MK.

Run Me Down.         Les Paul.
One Way gal.         LP
Blues Stay Away.      LP
Your Own Sweet Way.      Red Schecter strat.
Railroad Worksong.      LP
Why Worry.         Schecter
Water of Love.         LP
Will You Miss me?      Sunburst strat.
Hobo's Lullaby.         LP
Bring me the Bottle [not correct title, I know. Howling Wolf song]  LP

That's all [You got to have jesus]    *the* National Resonator...
KC Blues [title?]         That wonder guitar again.
Calling Elvis.            LP
One sided Love affair.         LP
I'm the Fool.             Sunburst strat
Bewildered.            LP
Cannnibals.            Cream Telecaster.
Milk Cart Blues.          LP
Are we in Trouble Now.         LP
Setting me Up.            Cream telecaster.
Feel Like Going home.         LP

Wild Theme.            Schecter strat.
Next time I'm in Town.         Cream telecaster.          

Having been forwarned , there were no surprises in the list.

For Part 3.  The "Apres show" meet... see next mail.



Jan Baldridge

<----- frosty@cc2.cumber.edu wrote: ----->

Dear Freinds,
   This is the first time I have been able to get to a
computer since I got back from these concerts, but I will
try to relay everything I can remember. Please nobody
bother to send corrections, as there are bound to be a few
errors. Marijin Schoo has made DAT recordings and video
recordings of all the gigs he has been to, so he will be
able to give accurate setlists etc.
SUNDAY 18 MAY 1997

Prior to this gig I was able to meet up with other T
Roadies, including Marijin, and they were lucky enough to
have front row seats, right in the centre! I was about six
rows back, but unfortunately I was over at the right hand
side of the stage meaning speakers were blocking my view of
Guy Fletcher. The line up for the tour is as follows:

Ed Bicknell (Drums)
Marcus Cliffe (Bass/ Double Bass)
Brendan Croker (Guitar and Vocals)
Guy Fletcher (Keyboards)
Mark Knopfler (Tambourine)
Steve Phillips (Guitar and Vocals)

The stage layout was something like this:

         MC      GF
         BC   MK   SP

Mark was wearing a white shirt, black Levis and cowboy
boots. I can't really remember about everybody else,
except to say that BC wore a long black overcoat, which
must have almost killed him with heat. In fact, Mark said
near the start of the show "He'll take it off once we get
warmed up!", to which BC shook his head and said "No I
wont!", and true enough, he didn't.
   I made a tape recording of the show (very bad
quality on a hand held walkman, before anybody asks for a
copy), so I will write down the full setlist in the next
couple of days.
   They kicked off with "Run Me Down", which didn't
stray very much from the album version, followed by "One
Way Gal". Brendan's vocals were phrased very differently
from the original, in fact the same could be said of all
the songs he sang. "Blues Stay Away From Me" was next,
before MK took the spotlight for the first time with a
great rendition of "Your Own Sweet Way". This was followed
by the first Straits song of the evening, ("This is from
the first Straits record, released 1939") "Water Of Love",
different from the original, but similar to what was played
on the GH tour.
   MC was then allowed his first and indeed only solo
of the night as he played a funky riff to introduce
"Railroad Worksong". Following this, MK said "This one's
from the Brothers record, and I'm very proud to say its
been recorded by the Everly Brothers and Chet Atkins", and
then they went into a beautiful rendition of "Why Worry".
My mind goes blank at this point, but it could have been a
song called "Hobo's Lullaby" ("Go to sleep, you little
Hobo..."). Ring any bells with anyone?
   Before the last song of the first half MK said "The
important question is this: is there a bar? There is? Well,
we're going to go for a drink or two and then come back and
play some man's music". They then kicked into what was the
highlight of the show for me, a great R and B number which
I had never heard before, featuring MK on his Les Paul and
SP playing slide on a bizarre cross between a Les
Paul and a National Steel! The harmonized riffs at the end
of each verse were brilliant. Someone said it was a song
that Eric Clapton does called "Rolling and Tumbling". Any
   The second half began with the four Hillbillies
just picking their guitars (yes, including Guy Fletcher) on
two blues songs, "Denomination Blues" and "K.C. Moan". I
had never heard either of these before, but they were both
great. MK played mean slide on his National on "K.C. Moan".
   EB and MC came back on stage following this, for a
brilliant version of "Calling Elvis", with Ed playing a Bo
Diddley rythym on his drums which really added to the song.
I must admit that I have been disappointed with Mark's
tendencies to play the same solos on this song, but on
Sunday night you could tell he was really improvising.
   I can't really remember the order of the second
half very well, but the following songs were played:

I'm The Fool
Are We In Trouble Now
Will You Miss Me
One Sided Love Affair
Tennessee Blues
and others which escape me.

At one point MK said "I must apologise for all these
guitars, it's very vulgar." and somebody in the crowd
shouted something to which he replied "Yeah, eat your heart
out sunshine!", and BC said "Tellin' them like it is,

A fantastically fast version of "Setting Me Up" was
followed by MK saying "This next one, we just needed a
vocal for, so we went to the pub, had a view drinks and he
(Brendan) came up with this". They then went into "I Feel
Like Going Home", but again BC was putting in too many
little extras to try and be different from the record, and
frankly, it just wasn't as good.
   They then left the stage, to a standing ovation and
much applause. Five minutes later MK and GF returned to do
an absolutely brilliant version of "Wild Theme". I for one
don't mind admitting it was the only time in my life I have
been reduced to tears by a guitar.
   As this is normally the very last thing he plays, I
was surprised to see the rest of the band return to the
stage and hear Mark say "Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins both
finish their shows with this, I'm very proud to say, so why
shouldn't we?". "The Next Time I'm In Town" was a brilliant
finisher, and even after this, the applause was so great
that the played another couple of verses of it with the
house lights up in the theater, reminiscent of the BiA tour.
   Following the gig, we were allowed to meet the band
and get autographs, so I managed to have my program signed
and have a quick chat with all the guys.

MONDAY 19 MAY 1997

   This gig was pretty much exactly the same as
Glasgow, although I think they missed out "Tennessee
Blues". I was able to catch Mark coming off the bus and he
was only too happy to sign my British Tour 1992 poster
which I had bought in Glasgow two days earlier. Needless to
say, I was over the moon! It is currently being
professionally framed!
   Although there had been speculation that Ted
Christopher and others would play "Knockin' On Heavens
Door" with Mark, a friend who spoke to SP before the
concert said that Mark had decided that the aim of the show
was to show the people of Dunblane a good time, and to play
that song would just be too upsetting. At the same time, SP
said that Mark was currently working on two film
soundtracks, with one almost complete.
   It was a great show, the building only holding 900
people led to a great atmosphere. I must admit to feeling
slightly uncomfortable when MK sang the "smokin' gun" line
in "I'm The Fool", but nobody else seemed to notice.
   At the end of the show just as we were leaving, Ted
Christopher got on stage and said the following: "Just
before you leave, Mark doesn't know we are going to do this,
but as you may know, the single we recorded last year went
straight in at number 1, and has sold 600,000 copies to
date. In order to thank Mark for his brilliant
contribution, I'd like to ask him to come back on stage and
accept our platinum disc."
   It was presented by one of the survivors of the
tragedy, and was a very emotional moment. I for one
couldn't help crying and Mark was visibly upset also. All
he could say was "thank you".
   Ed Bicknell wandered onto stage with a glass of
wine a few minutes later. He is a really nice guy, and he
gave Marco his drum sticks, and went and found a setlist
for me! He even asked Marco if he had anywhere to stay for
the next concert. He also mentioned that he would like to
take the Hillbillies to Europe....

Well sorry its so long, but thats everything I can remember
about the concerts, except what guitars were used etc. ,
but I'll save that for another time.

Matt Duncan

Thanks Matt, this is what we have been waiting to hear for a week!  The people that are
not able to go to any of the concerts really appreciate what you have done.  I, for one really
enjoyed reading every word.  I only wish MK would decide to tour the US next spring. 

Thanks again,


"You can't polish a doo-doo" - Mark Knopfler


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Re: Old Emails
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2009, 02:42:12 PM »
 Hello to all the list,
 Finally I found a ticket for the NHB show in Southport
because somebody returned a ticket for the third row.
 What can I say, I have seen Mark in 1992 with D.S. in
OES tour and in 1996 with GH tour in Madrid and I had to
wait until yesterday to see the best MK.
They played NHB songs, DS songs and MK GH songs.
Photographs were allowed, so I made a whole film.
Recording equipments were allowed, so I recorded a tape.
 It was incredible the great sense of humour of the whole
band, that was continuosly making jokes to the audience.
 For example, before the concert some of us were at the
back door trying to see Mark for him to sign in some
records. As security staff didn't allow us to enter we
decided to go. On our way, we heard Mark's voice through
an opened window (the band was talking about the show)
and we started shouting "Mark come and sign for us" and
things like that.
 Later, in the show, the band asked what we wanted to be
played next in a pause between two songs. Somebody said:
Give us Rudiger. Brendan Crocker answered: Sorry,he is
not here.  Mark replied him: Oh, yes, he was outside just
before the show. He was shouting Hei, Mark sign for us.
 After the show we went to the back door again, there
were about 30 people. The security staff told us to be in
a row, because all the band members were going to sign
for us. In fact, yesterday one of my dreams came true, I
shook hands with Mark.
 This message is becoming very long, so I decide to stop
 Regards, Dimitri Bountsolas.
 P.S. Mark Knopfler, torero.


Hi TRs!!!
I found out in an old cassette of mine a John Illsley
"You can't polish a doo-doo" - Mark Knopfler


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Re: Old Emails
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 02:42:59 PM »
Hi T-Roadies!

Large full size photos of the Montserrat show can now be found in a new
English magazine called "Music One." It also features an interview with
Ed Bicknell about Mark, the show and MK and EC playing together.

A picture of Mark and his red strat appear in this weeks edition of "The
Radio Times."

Last night(26.11.97), Mark appeared on BBC Radio 2 on a programme about
working class music. He made comments about blues music, so there is a
chance he may appear next week when the subject switches to Country.

Here's some stuff from the Times Newspaper.

"Out of the Straits jacket"
Paul Sexton
Mark Knopfler
City Hall, Cork
THE stadiums may have been replaced by more modest concert halls. The
headband may be gone, and some more of the hair with it. The name of
Dire Straits may be nowhere to be seen on the posters. But the essence
of Mark Knopfler is intact and being unbottled at no fewer than 27 dates
in Britain and Ireland between now and the end of May.
The energy and passion with which Knopfler is tackling his solo status
lays to rest his image as the king of somnolent stadium rock, an image
which dates from the mid-1980s when Dire Straits became less a band and
more a lifestyle accessory to their audience of millions. As the decade
turned, and their everyman rock started to lose some of its swagger,
Knopfler gauged the mood of the times accurately, and has followed his
muse down a less familiar road.
It has taken him to Golden Heart, a back-to-the-land album summoned from
his schooling in Celtic and borders music, and to this leviathan tour,
which extends across Europe with barely a pitstop until August.
For all his reputation as a stickler for studio precision, Knopfler
gives every impression of having the time of his life. At the tour
"You can't polish a doo-doo" - Mark Knopfler


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Re: Old Emails
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2009, 03:04:39 PM »
Album liner essay by Robert Sandall:
Perspective plays the strangest tricks. For most of their career Dire Straits have been regarded, even by critics who profess not to like them, as unstoppably successful. When they set out, it was a different story. Of all the new bands on the London pub and club circuit in 1977, Dire Straits seemed uniquely ill-equipped to survive. As the fires of punk raged around them, they made no secret of their love for styles of music which the cultural commissars of the day had recently declared irrelevant. They sounded a bit country, a bit bluesy, not remotely shouty or angry. There was a hint of Bob Dylan in there, a bit of Celtic folk and a few nods to Chet Atkins. As for the way they looked, well, they clearly hadn't acquired their stage clobber down the King's Road. What part could this lot possibly play in the brave new world of anarchy, media manipulation and anti-musicianship?
Apart from their consummate skill as performers, it was their complete disregard for all the fashionable nonsenses of the moment that rescued Dire Straits from the fate which swiftly overtook most of their punky contemporaries. While others lived and died in a blaze of publicity and disappointing record sales, they took the world by stealth. Their first album, Dire Straits, cost next to nothing to record, received minimal promotion and still, within a year of its release in 1978, became a massive hit. Unlike the rest of the class of '77, they made huge inroads in America, Europe and Australasia. It wasn't so much that they discovered their audience: in many territories where the band had never been seen, and were then completely unknown, the audience found them.
Dire Straits were, above all, superb communicators. Bob Dylan once said that he liked them as a group because, great players though they all were, they sounded like one person. The heartfelt simplicity of their music - chiefly derived from Mark Knopfler's gruff vocals and elegantly burnished Fender guitar tone - came across in songs that sounded both fresh and timeless, and which also possessed a breathtaking accuracy. When the Straits sang about an elderly jazz band in a South London pub, as they did on their first single Sultans of Swing, they engraved the scene on your memory, right down to the knot of bored teenagers "dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles" at the back. The track is a masterpiece of social observation. There are plenty more like it. Listening to this compilation all through you're struck by the fact that the lyrics to these songs never engage in rhyming for it's own sake. As a lifelong fan of country music, Knopfler relishes the role of the singer as storyteller and his songs are full of poignant situations and vivid street characters.
They are often funny, too. In what may be Dire Straits' most celebrated song, Money For Nothing, a salesman in a consumer electronics store in New York bitches about rock stars and - blisters on their little fingers aside - the easy life they lead. At the other end of Knopfler's spectrum as a lyricist there are songs like So far Away which express the pain of separation with a touching directness and lack of artifice. Somewhere in the middle comes Romeo And Juliet, the best remembered tune from their third album, Making Movies. This is in many ways quintessential Dire Straits, a deeply emotional but profoundly sceptical take on true romance as enacted by a street musician whose back-to-basics chat up line - "you and me, babe, How about it?" - is made bizzarely persuasive by the sweetness of the surrounding music. In Dire Straits' world, you never quite know whether you've been suckered, or suddenly been dealt a winning hand. But hey, that's life. Love the ambivalence.
Their sound changed noticeably across the six studio albums. They started spry and clean, exactly the way they were live, then proceeded to expand and experiment with the recording process. after Making Movies, there were more spacious and atmospheric sound effects, as witness the spooky twists and baroque pianistic flourishes in Private Investigations from the Love Over Gold album. Knopfler then developed an allergy for big studio productions, and their time-consuming search for perfect drum sounds and the rest. the result was the Twisting By The Pool EP which took a day to record. the next album, Brothers In Arms, was full of quiet moments and sparse arrangements, even though the best known tracks, Money For Nothing and Walk Of Life, made a lot of upbeat, cheerful noise. Quite why a collection of songs as subtly understated as this should have introduced a generation of listeners to the compact disc remains a bit of a mystery: maybe, as Knopfler has always assumed, ordinary people have good taste.
On Every Street, the only Dire Straits album of the 1990s, had a rootsier feel than anything they recorded in the 1980s, flagging Knopfler's oft articulated desire to leave the rock star fol-di-rol behind. The band are currently on hold. We await further developments in the knowledge that there might not be any. What remains is an astonishingly diverse catalogue of hits. For a group who have never been particularly viewed as a "singles band", Dire Straits have done some fantastic work in this area. Thanks to Knopfler's strong melodic instincts and structural ingenuity as a tunesmith Dire Straits have always functioned principally as a vehicle for songs rather than, as is the way with lots of bands, an excuse to rock out.
And reasoned commentary aside, let's get personal: anybody who finds nothing to love here has either got a problem with the essential fabric of rock and roll, or cloth ears.
Robert Sandall, liner notes, Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits.
Robert Sandall is a Sunday Times journalist and Head of Press at Virgin Records.
.......end of liner essay.
"You can't polish a doo-doo" - Mark Knopfler


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Re: Old Emails
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2009, 03:22:02 PM »
1. Q. "Your first hit, 'Sultans of Swing', was, I suppose, a sort of romantic portrait of a South London pub. How did that song come to you?"
A. "I've always been attracted to people who can find a way expressing themselves in tough circumstances. You, know, it's always spoken to me as a theme somehow, but the sympathy goes out to them - doesn't matter whether it's 'Sultans of Swings' or 'Les Boys' or somebody who's just painting a city garden or something. It's a kind of liberating thing, you know, when things are on top of you. Music's always been that way to me, in that it's always a source of comfort to me."
2. Q. "You started yourselves in pubs and clubs, and actually 'Sultans' was a hit in Europe, Australia and the States before it was a hit in the UK."
A. "You've got to get used to playing to an audience which is maybe a little bit smaller than the band. I remember going up to Dundee University and the Entertainment Secretary had booked us to play there but he booked us after term had finished and everybody had gone home for the holidays. We played to about 7 people, but we really enjoyed it - we invited them all into the dressing room for a drink afterwards (laughter). I think we used to get gobbed on appreciatively by punks in places like the Hope and Anchor. I always enjoyed the club thing, actually, and we ended up getting a residency at most of these places. We would do about 4 or 5 nights and ended up with one at the Marquee Club which I recall quite well because it was so packed that they got about 1000 people in there. We got
"You can't polish a doo-doo" - Mark Knopfler


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Re: Old Emails
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2009, 03:23:15 PM »
12. Q. "One of the most touching songs, I think, that Dire Straits recorded is 'So Far Away'. It's on the 'Brothers In Arms' album. A very simple, romantic, in the everyday sense, song."
A. "Yeah, that's another thing really about touring, and recording, that if you are a working musician, you're away a long time and you end up writing those kinds of things quite a lot. They are songs about dislocation and separation and so on and so forth. A lot of my favourite songs have been about that anyway, I mean by other writers, so I suppose its a theme that stays with you."
13. Q. (General Q on 'Brothers In Arms', their greatest selling album): "'Brothers In Arms' sold 25 million copies - when you were recording it, did you have any sense that you would unleash a blockbuster?"
A. "Oh, absolutely not, I mean of course not, my goodness, It was another record but I was looking forward to making it. In fact in the end the stuff that we used was recorded over a very short period of time. There were a couple of things on it, moments on it when I remember thinking "blimey, that's not bad." One of them was Guy's keyboard part on 'Money For Nothing'. I remember I kept thinking, this needs something else, it needs something else and Guy came up with a great wobbly sound - sort of an "ee awing" sound on 'Money For Nothing' and I thought that's kind of good, I like that."
14. Q. "What's Sting doing on the beginning of this track?"
A. "The Police were doing an advert on MTV at the time - all these artists were appearing on there saying "I want my MTV" - that's how MTV were advertising themselves at that time. The Police had a song called 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' which had the melody "do, do, do, do, do, do, do" and I figured that would go with "I want my MTV" - I wanted to put that on the front because I imagined this little boy in his bedroom with his MTV going into this dreamworld with his notes. Then I wanted a camera to rush across country from out of his bedroom and take him into this world of the imagination because I think MTV is a great source of imagination for kids. They live inside that. With us it was the radio."
15. Q. "'Money For Nothing' was reputedly based on an overheard conversation."
A. "Yeah, I was in New York in one of the big appliance shops. Basically, the layout was quite simple, the kitchen display unit in the front, the table and chairs and drawers and everything were all there in the shop window. Then you go inside and they had rows of microwaves and all the rest of it and at the back there were big walls of TVs all turned to MTV. It was like a stage set because there was this big Joe Six Pack figure with his checked shirt and he had a barrel of some sort - he had been pulling boxes of something through the back door and he was holding forth to an audience of one or two about the performances on MTV. But the kind of stuff he was saying was so classic that I just managed to eavesdrop for a couple of minutes and then I went and got this piece of paper and started writing down the lines of things he was saying. Lines like, "That ain't working" and all that, and "Maybe get a blister on your finger", made me laugh. He said all that stuff and "What's that, Hawaiian noises?", so in a sense it was just a piece of reporting. But again, it's one of those things when you are aware that the situation has possibilities to create something."
16. Q. "The title track 'Brother In Arms' - what was the inspiration there?"
A. "A phrase will stay with you for a while, you're not necessarily sure why, and it was the time of the Falklands War. My late father said at the time that it was ironic...the Russians being Brothers In Arms with this Fascist Argentinean Government - 'Brothers In Arms', he just used it then. The absurdity of it seems to stay in the mind."
17. Q. "The tracks on this album seem to have a lot of space and atmosphere, almost as if you're shooting holes through the arrangement."
A. "With the whole of that album, with the exception of 'Money For Nothing' and 'Walk of Life', I was trying to keep drums off all the songs. I was fed up with the sound of snare drums at that point in my life. I didn't want to have them on anything, and I was still experimenting so I think they're the only two songs with snare on them. With 'Brothers In Arms' I was trying to do something with Claves or crossed stick sounds and there the engineers were talking about how long it took to get a drum sound, days and all of this baloney you know...I've never had any patience with all that. I've always loved the combination of Gibson Les Pauls and string sounds, because the guitars are so powerful sounding, the strings are a contrast with it."
18. Q. "'Walk of Life' is another of the best-loved Dire Straits tunes, and a song which we are sometimes led to believe you didn't want to include on the album?"
A. "Oh, no, WE did, we always wanted it. The engineer didn't, the co-producer, Neil, didn't want to have it in there...maybe he thought it was too lightweight. We all loved it. I got the idea from a photograph actually, a friend of John's took a singer down in a tunnel with his face against a wall to try and make his voice louder, and a boy with a guitar, just a rockabilly boy. I've always been attracted to that street-singer figure, it has a sort of Cajun influence. It was actually recorded by some Cajun artists afterwards, an accordion took the organ part."
19. Q. "You use American influences in a number of your songs. What was 'Calling Elvis' all about?"
A. "Just a pretty light thing that I turned into a kind of obsessive song. I got the idea from someone who was saying, talking about his sister, It's "like calling Elvis, trying to get hold of him", and these days with answering machines, it is a bit like that sometimes - an answering machine talking to another answering machine."
20. Q. "'Heavy Fuel' - this is another song which has a very strong sort of earthly American flavour."
A. "If you are spending a long time in the States, the sheer enormity of the consumer culture starts to hit you hard, it really does. I think that is was the growth of that side, of the Burger lifestyle in England, that was starting to become so very apparent. At the end of the Thatcher years, the product was the kind of people who were really materialistic and greedy. the idea in business that you'd do anything, you'd fight dirty. It's based on the Martin Amis book, 'Money - John Self', a character he paints with a line from the book, "running on heavy fuel" - that's where I got the idea. I get a lot of my ideas from books."
21. Q. "So - 'On Every Street' - in some ways my favourite Dire Straits album, I'm not quite sure why, because it's not the one that most people talk about, but it's got some, some of my favourite tracks, I mean the title track for example, I find very moving. What's it about?"
A. "I think it's about the fact that we're capable of holding an idea, an just trying to stay true to it, looking for something that you can't really find. And also, wondering why you're doing it. I think there's a line in there "I don't know why it is I'm still on the case."
22. Q. "And I love the long instrumental coda."
A. "Yeah, I think George Martin was in the studio at the time. He said 'Puccini did that I think' (Chuckle). I love George."
23. Q. "What may be one of Dire Straits' lasting most legacies is the sax line from 'Your Latest Trick'."
A. "The sax line, it's a funny thing, it just absolutely seemed to have to be there. Mike Brecker played it, Chris White played it on tour a lot and, a little bit afterwards, Chris told me that everytime he went into his brass shop to get new reeds there might be somebody there playing it. I always thought that was funny, because when you go into guitar shops it was often 'Stairway To Heaven' that kids would play, and I never thought I'd ever be responsible for what people would play in a music shop...that it would turn out to be a saxaphone line."
24. Q. "There's a live version here of 'Your Latest Trick'. That song?"
A. "That is again from living in New York. If you've lived there for a while, which I did, or part of the time anyway, you start to breathe-in the city really. The garbage trucks are like these great monsters that roar through the early hours of the night. I'd be coming home from the studio - I was doing long hours then - and I'd come home late at night. I'd ride on a bicycle flat out down the Avenue back home down to the Village, and you'd see these things about the city, roaring, just like great beasts. I think I got the idea from some literature somewhere, I don't remember what it was, but the idea of a "trick" has a number of possibilities. I like the idea of songs that have a number of possibilities, people do different things with them. Its really just playing with ideas...with that song, to be honest, I don't think that I was being specific about anything, it was just carrying on the idea. With some songs, you've started, so you finish, and it's really amazing. If you do section A, section B, can start dictating itself - it really just seems that ought to be there - and then C, and so on and so forth. It's a mysterious thing really that you're turning into, but you have to respect it in a way. You have to let the thing go where it wants to go, and you can't necessarily always force the issue - you finish it off and sign it."
25. Q. "I'm not quite sure of the chronology here but something which we obviously must mention because it's become one of Dire Straits' best remembered tunes, even though it wasn't exactly a Dire Straits piece in the first place, was the theme to Local Hero - the film - in which you did explore your interest in Celtic music."
A. "I think with having grown up in the North you do absorb some of that stuff - I remember Scottish music in Glasgow, and I remember all those Tyneside songs very well. And I think there's the lyricism in these, I've always been very attracted by those sort of melodies anyway."
26. Segue: insert musical break from 'Local Hero' theme.
A. "Some of the stuff I write, to me it's just like a scene, from a story. Sometimes you see the thing from a camera point of view, you're trying to tell it the way a camera would. You see shots, you know close-ups and wides, and all the rest of it. It's really just going from one crisis to the next until the whole thing's done. Because I always approach anything confidently like that, like a film...I always think it's beyond me. It actually really is, and I sort of blag my way through the thing, 'til it's done. But with the sort of players that I have, I really think we could take almost anything on, because they help me out so much."

"You can't polish a doo-doo" - Mark Knopfler


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Re: Old Emails
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2009, 04:38:44 PM »
about the nashville part:
quote:It was neat to see, though.  A kid sitting
next to me taped the music parts, but I didn't ask him for a copy and I
don't know his name.  end quote....
is this the nashville masterclass that is out there now?
and what about the show the night before?? anyone ever heard it exists??
any Knopfler, Floyd or Dylan will do....


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