Dire Straits Won't Reunite Despite Being Offered 'Huge Amounts Of Money'

7 November 2023 | 2:31 pm | Jessie Lynch

"I sort of knew that things were coming to an end. And I was pretty happy about that because we were exhausted."

Dire Straits

Dire Straits (Spotify)

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Brit rockers Dire Straits will not be taking part in a reunion, despite being presented with "huge amounts of money”.

Bassist John Illsley shed light on the situation, revealing that the Grammy award-winning band, which consisted of Illsley, Pick Withers, and brothers Mark and David Knopfler, is not swayed by the prospect of a lucrative comeback.

In an interview with The Telegraph, he revealed that whenever he catches up with Knopfler's manager Paul Crockford, he tells him there is some serious cash on the table should the rockers choose to reunite.

“Every time we have lunch, [he] says to me, ‘I wish people would stop offering me huge amounts of money to put [Dire Straits] back together.’”

Despite the band’s choice not to reunite, John confirmed that he and Mark were on good terms and have "a lovely, lovely relationship", and speak "whenever we need to".

Dire Straits, who were known for their hits Sultans of Swing and Money For Nothing, officially disbanded in 1995 after a series of successful albums and numerous awards, including a Grammy. They had a brief separation in 1988, followed by a reunion in 1990, before their final dissolution.

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Of the band's split, Illsley explained that it began to get in the way of their personal lives.

"I sort of knew that things were coming to an end. And I was pretty happy about that because we were exhausted. We were exhausted. Mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. Most of our marriages were falling apart, we weren’t seeing our children very much – it was all wrong, basically. It's the usual things that can happen to people in bands.”

"But when you stop a machine like the Dire Straits thing, there's a massive vacuum. There's a massive vacuum. And you ask yourself if it was a good idea. And I had to keep telling myself that it was a good idea.”

“Because you’re doing something else, completely different – I was in London studying painting, I got some lessons, made a terrible mess for seven or eight years, and then started doing art shows. I thought, ‘Okay, this is fun’. And I stopped playing music for quite a while. I leaned the bass against the wall and said ‘Thank you very much but I’m doing something different now’.”

In a 2008 interview with BBC News, John said that Mark's successful solo career was in the way of a reunion.

He explained: “I think we’ve definitely got one more tour left in us, and probably another record too. [But] he’s [Knopfler] doing different kinds of music now.”

He added, “He’s doing incredibly well as a solo artist, so hats off to him. He’s having a perfectly good time doing what he’s doing.”

Mark Knopfler released his latest solo studio album Down the Road Wherever in 2018.