Former Dire Straits Guitarist Jack Sonni Passes Away, Aged 68

1 September 2023 | 11:48 am | Mary Varvaris

Jack Sonni performed in Australia with Dire Straits when the band toured their 'Brothers In Arms' album in 1986.

Jack Sonni with Dire Straits in Sydney (1986)

Jack Sonni with Dire Straits in Sydney (1986) (Source: YouTube)

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Jack Sonni, the former guitarist of American band Dire Straits who played alongside Mark Knopfler, has passed away, aged 68, Entertainment Weekly reports.

His former bandmates in Dire Straits Legacy shared the news on social media. At the time of writing, the cause of Sonni’s death is unknown.

“Our beloved Jack has left a void in our heart and soul,” his bandmates wrote on Twitter. “We will miss you so much. You are forever with us”.

John Illsley, the former bassist in Dire Straits, added, “So sorry to hear the sad news that Jack Sonni has died, we loved having him with us on the Brothers in Arms tour, fond memories. R.I.P Jack”.

In 1977, Sonni met the two brothers behind Dire Straits – Mark and David. Following the departure of David and later, Hal Lindes, Sonni was offered to join the band.

He accepted and featured on the guitar synthesizer for The Man’s Too Strong on Dire Straits’ fifth album, Brothers In Arms. The album was credited to be the first CD in history to sell over a million copies. Brothers In Arms spent 34 weeks at #1 in Australia upon its release in 1985.

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Sonni went on to perform at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium with Dire Straits and performed in Australia when the band toured here in 1986. By 1988, Sonni walked away from his musical career following the birth of his twin daughters.

He returned to music in recent years and played live music with the Dire Straits Legacy.

Sonni’s final posts on Facebook were shared in early June, with the musician – often referred to as “the other guitarist” while he was in Dire Straits – sharing positive sentiments about living in the here and now.

Life is a mystery. Life is not a mystery. Life is darkness & light. Pleasure & pain. Joy & grief. Often at the same...

Posted by Jack Sonni on Thursday, June 1, 2023

He posted a photo of himself holding a surfboard by the beach alongside a child, and wrote, “Life is a mystery. Life is not a mystery. Life is darkness & light. Pleasure & pain. Joy & grief. Often at the same time.  Such as on a day like 2day. Be in the moment. Celebrate the here and now. Don’t dwell in the past. Cherish the memories. And above all - hug them while you can, chilluns.”

Well chilluns, the last social media post for the foreseeable future as I dive into getting my novel in shape for my...

Posted by Jack Sonni on Friday, June 2, 2023

In another post shared the following day, Sonni revealed that he was working on a novel for his agent’s “publisher hunt”. He reminded his followers to “Play nice & be kind to one another! And hug them while you can”.