This year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set to see one of the most anticpated reunions in the world of rock music for some time… sort of. Yes, news has come forward that Dire Straits are set to reunite for a performance in a matter of days, albeit without their legendary frontman Mark Knopfler.
According to a statement on the website of Dire Straits keyboardist Allan Clarke, the other three members of the group are set to perform at the induction ceremony on April 14th in Cleveland, Ohio.
“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,” Clarke wrote.
“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 by Stevie Wonder.”
Currently, there has been no reason given as to why Mark Knopfler or his brother, founding member David Knopfler, will not be attending the ceremony or performing, though David revealed that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s unwillingness to pay travel costs seems to be a big factor.
“In their wisdom after promising to pay my expenses they reneged on their promise,” David Knopfler wrote on Facebook in response to a fan.
“I can well understand that with only $5 mil a year in sponsorships and 100k a table and no fees for the artist that paying my taxi to the airport must have given them heart murmurs like Squeers hearing Oliver Twist asking for more and frightened them into refusal otherwise one might get the wrong idea entirely about what they’re all about.”
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Dire Straits was formed back in London in 1977 by guitarist and vocalist Mark Knopfler, rhythm guitarist David Knopfler, bassist John Illsley, and drummer Pick Withers. Following a brief disbandment in the late ’80s, the group reformed in 1991, touring for only two more years before breaking up in 1995, at which point the group consisted of Mark Knopfler, John Illsley, and Allan Clarke and Guy Fletcher on keyboards and piano.
It was announced back in December that Dire Straits were set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14th, alongside other famous acts including Bon Jovi, The Cars, Nina Simone, and The Moody Blues, after beating out ‘modern’ acts such as Radiohead and Rage Against The Machine.
Needless to say, there’s still time for Mark Knopfler to turn it around and join the group for their first performance together in nearly 26 years, but at this stage, the reclusive guitarist doesn’t seem likely to change his mind.