David Knopfler

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David Knopfler
David Knopfler by Andreas Schwartmann in 2002.jpg
Knopfler performing in 2002
Background information
Born (1952-12-27) 27 December 1952 (age 61)
Glasgow, Scotland
Origin Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
Genres Rock, jazz
Occupations Multi-instrumentalist, poet, record producer, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 1977–present
Labels Phonogram, Cypress, Peach River, Ariola
Associated acts Dire Straits
Website www.knopfler.com
Notable instruments
Fender Telecaster
Fender Stratocaster

David Knopfler (born 27 December 1952) is an British rhythm guitarist, pianist, record producer and singer-songwriter. He is also a poet and book writer.

He is a co-founder of the rock band Dire Straits, spending three years with them. After quitting the band, he embarked upon a solo career as a recording artist.

He initially created smaller record labels, publishing companies, and indie labels.

Knopfler has encouraged the advent of online purchasing music in 1995, although he concedes the necessity for other avenues of the distribution and sale of recorded music.[1]

His book Bluffers Guide to the Rock Music Business (ISBN 978-1-903-09617-8) was published in 1996.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Knopfler was born in Glasgow,[2] Scotland, to an English mother, Louisa Mary, a teacher, and a Jewish Hungarian father, Erwin Knopfler, an architect.[3][4]

At the age of two, his family moved to Newcastle upon Tyne, England, where he grew up, and eventually attended Gosforth Grammar School.[2]

By age 11, he owned a guitar, a piano and a drum kit, and by age 14, he was playing and singing his own compositions in folk clubs.[5]

After attending Bristol Polytechnic, he became a social worker in London, where he shared a flat with John Illsley.[6]

David Knopfler's older brother Mark Knopfler also played the guitar. David introduced Mark to John Illsley, a bass guitarist, and after gaining the interest of drummer Pick Withers, the four founded the rock and roll band Dire Straits.[6] One of Mark Knopfler's friends came up with the band's name; supposedly a reference to their financial situation at the time the band was beginning to gain notice in the music industry.[7] David however, asserts on his website that "[t]he notion that the band were literally in dire straits is largely retrospective myth making and not really factually supportable. We all had day jobs until we got a whacking big advance from Polygram".[8]

David Knopfler played rhythm guitar beside his brother, who was lead guitarist to the band, and David appeared on Dire Straits' first two albums: Dire Straits (1978) and Communiqué (1979). The stress of composing, arranging songs, recording the then-requisite two albums and tours to support them took its toll on the brothers, and David left the band during the recording of their third album, Making Movies (1980), leaving him uncredited on the album.[6] There is concert video footage, however, of David playing with the band live on several tracks of this album.

Solo[edit]

After leaving Dire Straits, Knopfler released his first solo album in 1983, titled Release. Mark Knopfler and John Illsley both played on the album.[6] Harry Bogdanovs, a lifelong friend of Knopfler,[5] is credited with co-writing three of the tracks and playing synthesizer.[9] The album was supported by the single "Soul Kissing" on the label of Peach River Records. The single was a minor commercial success, peaking at #82 in the UK Albums Chart,[10] after Knopfler retrieved the rights from the bankrupt record label.[11]

Behind the Lines, his second album, was released in 1985 and his third solo album, Cut the Wire, followed in 1986.[6] In 1988, the U.S. label Cypress Records released his fourth album, Lips Against the Steel.[12]

Knopfler scored the soundtracks for the films Shergar (1984) and Laser Mission (1989),[6] and the German productions Treffer (1984), Jakob hinter der blauen Tür (1989) and Der grosse Bellheim.[13]

Since 1990[edit]

Lifelines in 1991 released by Phonogram, was recorded in Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios. That album was followed in 1993 by The Giver,[6] released by MESA/Bluemoon in the U.S., and Ariola in Europe. Its sparse, acoustic arrangements received positive reviews, as did 1995's Small Mercies, which Knopfler co-produced with Harry Bogdanovs,[6] featuring Chris White on saxophone.[14] In 2001, Knopfler worked with Bogdanovs again to co-produce the album Wishbones, which has guest appearances by Chris Rea[6] and Eddi Reader. His ninth solo album, Ship of Dreams, which also included Chris Rea, was released in 2004.

In May 2005, he published a book of poetry, Blood Stones and Rhythmic Beasts,[6] which was released by the UK's BlackWing books (ISBN 0955026008).

The U.S.-Canadian jazz label Justin Time Records released Ship of Dreams in October 2005 with an alternate rendition of "Tears Fall" featuring Megan Slankard (replacing Julia Neigel on the original European release).[13] Knopfler's tenth solo album Songs for the Siren was released in 2006.[6] Recent songwriting projects with other artists have included sessions with Amilia Spicer, Mack Starks, Megan Slankard and Wendy Lands.[15]

He played various acoustic and electric gigs in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, Turkey and Australia from 2007 to 2009 with Harry Bogdanovs and his band.[citation needed]. A new double CD Acoustic, which contains unplugged renditions of new and old songs was released in 2011.

Knopfler continued to tour in Spain, Germany, the UK, the United States and Canada in 2012 and 2013. The first-ever limited edition live album, Made in Germany (recorded in Erfurt, Germany during the 2012 tour with Bogdanovs), was released in April 2013 exclusively via CDBaby.com.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to art professor Leslie Stroz,[16] and has one son with former wife Anna Perera.

Discography with Dire Straits[edit]

Solo discography[edit]

  • 1983 – Release
  • 1985 – Behind the Lines
  • 1986 – Cut the Wire
  • 1988 – Lips Against the Steel
  • 1991 – Lifelines
  • 1993 – The Giver
  • 1995 – Small Mercies
  • 2001 – Wishbones
  • 2004 – Ship of Dreams
  • 2006 – Songs for the Siren
  • 2009 – Anthology: 1983–2008 (released in the United States)
  • 2011 – Acoustic (with Harry Bogdanovs)
  • 2013 - Made in Germany (Live in Erfurt) (with Harry Bogdanovs)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Knopfler, David (2002). "Building Your Support Team – Creating A Buzz". Draft notes-- Knopfler was a panelist. David Knopfler. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "David Knopfler". Notable Names Database (NNDB). Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "Brothers of Scottish Rock and Pop (mostly) – Fun Facts, Questions, Answers, Information". Funtrivia.com. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  4. ^ [1].
  5. ^ a b "David Knopfler Biography". Knopfler's official website. April 2005. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Christian Genzel (April 2005). "David Knopfler Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Dire Straits Biography". Net Industries. 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "Wikiphobia". Knopfler's official website. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "Harry Bogdanovs – Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 306. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  11. ^ "NME Artists – YouTube videos, gigs, biography, discography, and books". New Musical Express. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  12. ^ "Lips Against the Steel – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "David Knopfler Discography". Discogs website. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  14. ^ "Some pieces of Chris White's musical biography...". Chris White Unofficial Home Page – by Slavi. Retrieved 10 January 2009. [dead link]
  15. ^ Nigel Lawry. "Songstuff: David Knopfler". Interview with David Knopfler. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  16. ^ Herbeck, Dan (1 May 2013). "David Knopfler performs Sunday at Sportsmen’s Tavern". Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY). Retrieved 13 June 2014. 

External links[edit]