The Sultans of Swing will be without their chief at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony next week in Cleveland.
Mark Knopfler, leader of the group Dire Straits, is skipping the festivities. According to a posting by Alan Clark, a member of the group, neither Mark nor his brother Dave– who was also a Straits member– is heading to the mid west. Jann Wenner must be furious since having Mark Knopfler’s performance would have been key to the taping for HBO. Whoops!
Says Clark: There’s a lot of conjecture on forums about whether the band is performing at the Hall of Fame, and if not why not, and who in the band are going to the ceremony. Well, here it is and it’s official: Myself, Guy Fletcher and John Illsley will attend the ceremony where we’ll be be performing an unplugged version of Telegraph Road, with me on harmonium, Guy on ukulele, John on banjo, and the vocal sung NOT by Stevie Wonder, as previously reported, which would, I admit, be ridiculous. No, after much deliberation we decided the best possible replacement for Mark would be the Red Army Choir, which took some organising, as you can imagine, what with the current political climate. I hear Trump swung it for us usin his hotline to Putin.
So they’re not even performing their biggest hit, “Sultans of Swing,” on top of that. Well, at least the Cars, and Bon Jovi, will be there, as well as the Moody Blues. Of course, with Bon Jovi there’s always the issue of Richie Sambora. And it is hoped that Denny Laine, original member of the Moodys, will join them. Nina Simone, another inductee, is, sadly, gone, as is Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
BTW So what is Mark Knopfler doing these days? I found this video he made with Tommy Emmanuel for the latter’s “Collaborations” album this past January.