Thursday, July 18, 2024

Rock Hall Induction Concert in Dire Straits as Group’s Leader, Mark Knopfler, Will Be a No Show


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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