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Author: Subject: Mark Knopfler on "Sultans of Swing"

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 09:56 AM
Mark Knopfler on the origins of Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing":

http://alanpaul.net/?p=5132

This was originally written as part of a Guitar World 100 Greatest Solos cover story. I am going to pull out and post more of my entries.

Sadly, I messed up time zones and woke Knopfler up from a deep slumber for this interview.

[Edited on 10/25/2013 by AlPaul]

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 11:29 AM
Thanks Alan. How many of the 100 were choices you would have made? I imagine the list is determined by a bunch of music nuts arguing much like this website lol.

 

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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 11:59 AM
You know, to be honest, I don't recall.

I was living in Michigan at the time and seem to recall just getting a lot of assignments. I think a bunch of us sent in our suggestions and then the guys in NYC sat down and argued it out... all a blur...

These things are inherently silly but a lot of fun. How can you rate Hendrix V. Hammett V. Duane V. Iommi V. Varous steely Dan guys, etc?...

To me, it makes most sense to toss the order out and evaluate the list... At GW especially, always trying to please a very wide range.

 

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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 12:48 PM
On the subject of Knopfler; it's been interesting to watch his last few tours and how he approaches Sultans. It's taken a smaller and smaller place in his set, while at the same time being played at a slightly slower pace almost every tour. With the Straits, it was a big, blistering production. Now it's a comfortable old shoe. I'm pretty sure there were fair number of nights on the European leg of the Privateering tour where he didn't even play it.

Gotta give him credit though; every 18-24 months, like clockwork, he comes out with another album of all new songs.

 

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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 01:05 PM
He's still on my 'must see' list....never saw him or Dire Straits.

It's looking like, for me to see him I'll have to travel, which is alright. Most artists on that list I suspect will have to be travel shows.

 

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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 01:16 PM
yes, he seems to just write, record, tour..

I really lost interest with Dire Straits with "Walk of Life." something about that song just kind of... repulsed me. I can;t really explain that, but it colored my vision of how much I liked those first three or four albums... "Romeo and Juliet" remains a favorite...

And one night I was playing with my band in my favorite smoky dive in Beijing, singing "Beijing Blues" and in the middle of a verse it struck me that I was phrasing just like mark... I had really never consciously thought of him as a vocal influence but it became obvious to me how big he was.

 

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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 01:56 PM
I've always loved this Knopler song, What It Is. It sounds like earlier Dire Straits (plus some great violin), much better than anything he did in the Walk of Life era of his band:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAxzr9BdnkA


 

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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 02:22 PM
Telegraph Road is still my favorite of his songs. His solo band versions are masterful.

 

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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 02:59 PM
Saw Knopfler with dire straits and solo...great player...

Dire straits were great...big show production....solo,more low key..


 

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  posted on 10/25/2013 at 09:37 PM
quote:
yes, he seems to just write, record, tour..

I really lost interest with Dire Straits with "Walk of Life." something about that song just kind of... repulsed me. I can;t really explain that, but it colored my vision of how much I liked those first three or four albums... "Romeo and Juliet" remains a favorite...

And one night I was playing with my band in my favorite smoky dive in Beijing, singing "Beijing Blues" and in the middle of a verse it struck me that I was phrasing just like mark... I had really never consciously thought of him as a vocal influence but it became obvious to me how big he was.
"Walk of Life" had the same effect on me. I saw him around '04-'05 at Radio City, and he still had it in his set. Hated it. Had been hating it for years. Same goes for Money For Nothing. But by the next tour it was gone, and I haven't heard it since.

A lot of his fans still cling to his old Dire Straits stuff, but thankfully he's finally moved away from just about all of it. Romeo & Juliet is still often in the set, as is Telegraph Road. Brother In Arms was a requirement for years, but he's been dropping that one lately from many shows. I'm often a little frustrated at his shows, as there are always a few songs from his last 3-4 releases that are great tunes but he never plays live. Here's a few examples...

Everybody Pays

So Far From The Clyde

The Trawlerman's Song

You could make a set of great tunes just from the stuff he never or rarely plays.

 

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