Former Dire Straits Bassist Doesn’t Expect a Band Reunion
Dire Straits are one of the few major bands who've stayed broken up after splitting — and according to former bassist John Illsley, it seems likely to stay that way.
Speaking with Classic Rock Magazine for the release of his latest solo album, Long Shadow, Illsley talked about recording the new LP at his friend and former bandmate Mark Knopfler's studio — and pointed out that even though the two remain friends, they don't see the point in trying to recapture the past.
"We've talked about it but I think we've come to the conclusion to leave it the way it is," said Illsley. "It's very difficult to recreate the energy of 1991-92, that last tour we did — which was, in my mind, the best thing we did and the best band we ever had. To go back and try recreate that and make it was good would be quite difficult."
That being said, Illsley and Knopfler are both aware of lingering demand for a reunion — and like any other inactive rock act, they've left their fair share of money on the table. "I know there would be an audience for it and all sorts of crazy offers come in from time to time," he admitted. "In a sense, it's up to him, and I don't feel that he wants to go there right now. I completely appreciate that right now and I'm very happy doing what I'm doing."
So happy, in fact, that even though he recorded some of Long Shadow at Knopfler's studio, he didn't feel the need to enlist his participation — although he isn't willing to rule out the possibility in the future. "I've already got some very fine guitar players around me. It felt that maybe I was over-egging the pudding if I asked Mark to do it. Maybe on the next one," said Illsley. "We have a very good, solid relationship, so it certainly isn't any reflection of our friendship."
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