Mark Knopfler, 2006
|Birth name||Mark Freuder Knopfler|
12 August 1949 |
|Origin||Newcastle upon Tyne, England|
|Occupations||Musician, Songwriter, Record producer, Film score composer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, resonator guitar|
|Labels||Vertigo, Mercury, Warner|
|Associated acts||Dire Straits
The Notting Hillbillies
|Mark Knopfler Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul
Pensa Custom MKII
Mark Freuder Knopfler, OBE (born 12 August 1949) is a British guitarist, singer, songwriter, record producer and film score composer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the British rock band Dire Straits, which he co-founded in 1977. After Dire Straits disbanded in 1995, Knopfler went on to record and produce seven solo albums, including Golden Heart (1996), Sailing to Philadelphia (2000), The Ragpicker's Dream (2002), Shangri-La (2004), Kill To Get Crimson (2007), Get Lucky (2009) and Privateering (2012). He has composed and produced film scores for eight films, including Local Hero (1983), Cal (1984), The Princess Bride (1987), and Wag the Dog (1997). In addition to his work with Dire Straits and as a solo artist and composer, Knopfler has recorded and performed with many prominent musicians, including Phil Lynott, Chet Atkins, The Chieftains, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Sting, Emmylou Harris, Jools Holland, Steely Dan, Bryan Ferry, Sonny Landreth, and Van Morrison. He has produced albums for Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, and Randy Newman.
Knopfler is a fingerstyle guitarist and was ranked 27th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Knopfler and Dire Straits have sold in excess of 120 million albums to date. A four-time Grammy Award winner, Knopfler is the recipient of the Edison Award and the Steiger Award, and holds three honorary doctorate degrees in music from universities in the United Kingdom.
Early life (1949–1976) 
Mark Freuder Knopfler was born on 12 August 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland, to an English mother and Hungarian father. His father was an architect and a chess player, whose anti-fascist sympathies and Jewish parentage  forced him to flee from his native Hungary in 1939 even though Knopfler later described his father as a Marxist Agnostic. The Knopflers originally lived in the Glasgow area and Mark Knopfler's younger brother David was also born there, on 27 December 1952. The family re-settled in Knopfler's mother's home town of Blyth, Northumberland, in North East England when he was 7 years old. Mark Knopfler had attended Bearsden Primary school in Scotland for two years, but both brothers attended Gosforth Grammar School. Inspired by his uncle Kingsley's harmonica and boogie-woogie piano playing, Mark wanted to buy an expensive Fiesta Red Fender Stratocaster just like Hank Marvin's, but had to settle for a £50 twin-pick-up Höfner Super Solid. During the 1960s, he formed and joined schoolboy bands and listened to singers like Elvis Presley and guitarists Chet Atkins, Scotty Moore, B.B King, Django Reinhardt, Hank Marvin, and James Burton. At 16 he made a local TV appearance as part of a harmony duo, with his classmate Sue Hercombe.
In 1968, after studying journalism for a year at Harlow College, Knopfler was hired as a junior reporter in Leeds for the Yorkshire Evening Post. Two years later, he decided to further his studies, and went on to graduate with a degree in English at the University of Leeds. In April 1970, while living in Leeds, Knopfler recorded a demo disk of an original song he'd written, "Summer's Coming My Way". The recording included Knopfler (guitar and vocals), Steve Phillips (second guitar), Dave Johnson (bass), and Paul Granger (percussion). Johnson, Granger, and vocalist Mick Dewhirst played with Knopfler in a band called Silverheels.
Upon graduation in 1973, Knopfler moved to London and joined a High Wycombe-based band called Brewers Droop, appearing on the album The Booze Brothers. One night while spending some time with friends, the only guitar available was an old acoustic with a badly warped neck that had been strung with extra-light strings to make it playable. Even so, he found it impossible to play unless he finger-picked it. He said in a later interview, "That was where I found my 'voice' on guitar." After a brief stint with Brewers Droop, Knopfler took a job as a lecturer at Loughton College in Essex—a position he held for three years. Throughout this time, he continued performing with local pub bands, including the Café Racers. He also formed a duo with long-time associate bluesman Steve Phillips called The Duolian String Pickers.
By the mid-1970s, Knopfler devoted much of his musical energies to his group, the Café Racers. His brother David moved to London, where he shared a flat with John Illsley; a guitarist who changed over to playing bass guitar. In April 1977, Mark gave up his flat in Buckhurst Hill and moved in with David and John. The three began playing music together, and soon Mark invited John to join the Café Racers.
Dire Straits (1977–1995) 
Dire Straits' first demos were done in three sessions during 1977, with Pick Withers as drummer, David Knopfler as rhythm guitarist and John Illsley on bass guitar. On 27 July 1977 they recorded the now famous demo tapes of five songs: "Wild West End", "Sultans of Swing", "Down to the Waterline", "Sacred Loving" (a David Knopfler song) and "Water of Love". In what was probably[by whom?] October they recorded "Southbound Again", "In The Gallery" and "Six Blade Knife" for BBC Radio London and, finally, on 9 November demo tapes were made of "Setting Me Up", "Eastbound Train" and "Real Girl". Many of these songs reflected Mark's experiences in Newcastle, Leeds and London, and were to be featured on their first album, the self-titled Dire Straits which was released in the following year: "Down To The Waterline" recalled images of life in Newcastle; "In The Gallery" is a tribute to a Leeds sculptor/artist named Harry Phillips, (father of Steve Phillips); and "Lions", "Wild West End" and "Eastbound Train" were all drawn from Mark's early days in the capital.
Initially on its release, Dire Straits received little fanfare in the UK, but when "Sultans of Swing" was released as a single it became a chart hit in The Netherlands and album sales took off, first across Europe and then in the United States and Canada, and finally the UK. The group's second album, Communiqué, produced by Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett, followed in 1979, reaching number one in France while the first album was still at number three.
There were frequent personnel changes within Dire Straits after the release of their third album Making Movies, with Mark Knopfler remaining a constant member. Released in 1980, Making Movies marked a move towards more complex arrangements and production which continued for the remainder of the group's career. The album included many of Mark Knopfler's most personal compositions, most notably "Romeo and Juliet" and "Tunnel of Love". Love over Gold followed in 1982 and included the UK No. 2 hit "Private Investigations", "Telegraph Road", "Industrial Disease" and "It Never Rains" as well as the title track to that album.
With Love Over Gold still in the albums charts, the band released a four-song EP titled ExtendedancEPlay in early 1983. Featuring the hit single "Twisting By the Pool", this was the first output by the band that featured new drummer Terry Williams, (formerly of Rockpile), who had replaced Pick Withers in November 1982. A world tour followed later in 1983, and in March 1984 the double album Alchemy Live was released. Alchemy Live documented the recordings of two live shows in Hammersmith Odeon in London in July 1983, and reached number three in the UK Albums Chart.
During 1983 and 1984 Knopfler was involved with other projects as well, including writing and producing the music score to the film Local Hero which was a large success, and it was followed in 1984 by his scores for the films Cal and Comfort and Joy. Also during this time Knopfler produced Bob Dylan's Infidels album, as well as Knife by Aztec Camera. He also wrote the song "Private Dancer" for Tina Turner's comeback album of the same name.
Dire Straits' biggest studio album by far was their fifth, Brothers in Arms, recorded at Air Studios Montserrat and released in May 1985. It became an international blockbuster which has now sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, and is the fourth best selling album in UK chart history. Brothers in Arms spawned several chart singles including the US # 1 hit "Money for Nothing", which was the first video ever to be played on MTV in Britain. It was also the first compact disc to sell a million copies and is largely credited for launching the CD format as it was also one of the first DDD CDs ever released. Other successful singles were "So Far Away", "Walk of Life", and the album's title track. The band's 1985–86 world tour of over 230 shows was immensely successful.
After the Brothers in Arms tour Dire Straits ceased to work together for some time, Knopfler concentrating mainly on film soundtracks. Knopfler joined the charity ensemble Ferry Aid on "Let It Be" in the wake of the Zeebrugge ferry disaster. The song reached No. 1 on the UK singles chart in March 1987. Knopfler wrote the music score for the film The Princess Bride which was released at the end of 1987.
Mark Knopfler also took part in a comedy skit (featured on the French and Saunders Show) titled "The Easy Guitar Book Sketch" with comedian Rowland Rivron and fellow British musicians David Gilmour, Lemmy from Motorhead, Mark King from Level 42, and Gary Moore. Phil Taylor explained in an interview that Knopfler used Gilmour's guitar rig and managed to sound like himself when performing in the skit.
Dire Straits regrouped for the 11 June 1988 Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert at Wembley Stadium, in which they were the headline act, and were accompanied by Eric Clapton, who by this time had developed a strong friendship with Knopfler. Shortly after this, drummer Terry Williams left the band. In September 1988 Mark Knopfler announced the official dissolution of Dire Straits, saying that he "needed a rest", and in October 1988, a "best of" album, Money for Nothing, was released and reached number one in the United Kingdom.
In 1989 Knopfler formed The Notting Hillbillies, a band at the other end of the commercial spectrum. It leaned heavily towards American roots music – folk, blues and country music. The band members included keyboardist Guy Fletcher, with Brendan Croker and Steve Phillips. For both the album and the tour Paul Franklin was added to the line-up on pedal steel. The Notting Hillbillies sole studio album, Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time was released in 1990, and Knopfler then toured with the Notting Hillbillies for the remainder of that year. He further emphasised his country music influences with his 1990s collaboration with Chet Atkins, Neck and Neck, which resulted in three Grammy awards. The Hillbillies toured the UK in early 1990 with a limited number of shows. In this low-key tour the band packed out smaller venues such as Newcastle University.
In 1990 Knopfler, John Illsley, and Alan Clark performed as Dire Straits at Knebworth, joined by Eric Clapton, Ray Cooper, and guitarist Phil Palmer (who was at that time part of Eric Clapton's touring band), and in January the following year, Knopfler, John Illsley and manager Ed Bicknell decided to reform Dire Straits. Knopfler, Illsley, Alan Clark, and Guy Fletcher set about recording what turned out to be their final studio album accompanied by several part-time sidemen, including Phil Palmer, pedal steel guitarist Paul Franklin, percussionist Danny Cummings and Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro.
The follow-up to Brothers in Arms was finally released in September 1991. On Every Street was nowhere near as popular as its predecessor, and met with a mixed critical reaction, with some reviewers regarding the album as an underwhelming comeback after a six-year break. Nonetheless, the album sold well and reached No. 1 in the UK. A gruelling world tour to accompany the album followed, which lasted until the end of 1992. This was to be Dire Straits' final world tour; it was not as well received as the previous Brothers in Arms tour, and by this time Mark Knopfler had had enough of such huge operations. This drove the band into the ground, and ultimately led to the group's final dissolution in 1995.
Following the tour, Knopfler took some time off from the music business. In 1993, he received an honorary music doctorate from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Two more Dire Straits albums were released, both live albums. On the Night, released in May 1993, documented Dire Straits' final world tour. In 1995, following the release of Live at the BBC (a contractual release to Vertigo Records), Mark Knopfler quietly dissolved Dire Straits and launched his career as a solo artist.
Since the break-up of Dire Straits, Knopfler has shown no interest in reforming the group. However, keyboardist Guy Fletcher has been associated with almost every piece of Knopfler's solo material to date, while Danny Cummings has also contributed frequently, playing on three of Knopfler's most recent solo album releases All the Roadrunning (with Emmylou Harris), Kill to Get Crimson and Get Lucky. In October 2008 Knopfler declined a suggestion by John Illsley that the band should reform. Illsley said that a reunion would be "entirely up to Mark"; however, he also suggested that Knopfler was enjoying his continued success as a solo artist, saying that "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". Knopfler meanwhile is quoted as saying "Oh, I don't know whether to start getting all that stuff back together again", and that the global fame that came his way in the 1980s "just got too big".
Solo career (1996–present) 
Mark Knopfler's first solo album, Golden Heart, featuring the UK single "Darling Pretty", was released in March 1996. During the recording sessions for the album the main line-up of Knopfler's backing band, also known as "The 96ers," was formed, featuring Knopfler's old bandmate Guy Fletcher on keyboards, and has lasted much longer than any Dire Straits line-up. Also in 1996, Mark Knopfler recorded guitar for Ted Christopher's Dunblane massacre tribute cover of "Knocking on Heaven's Door".
In 1997 Knopfler recorded the soundtrack for the movie Wag the Dog. During that same year Rolling Stone magazine listed "Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll", which included "Sultans of Swing", Dire Straits' first hit. 2000 saw the release of Knopfler's next solo album, Sailing to Philadelphia. This has been his most successful to date, possibly helped by the number of collaborators to the album like Van Morrison. On 15 September 1997, Knopfler appeared at the Music for Montserrat concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, performing alongside artists such as Sting, Phil Collins, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney.
In 2002 Mark Knopfler gave four charity concerts with former Dire Straits members John Illsley, Chris White, Danny Cummings and Guy Fletcher, playing old material from the Dire Straits years. The concerts also featured The Notting Hillbillies with Brendan Croker and Steve Phillips. At these four concerts (three of the four were at the Shepherd's Bush, the fourth at Beaulieu on the south coast) they were joined by Jimmy Nail, who provided backing vocals for Knopfler's 2002 composition "Why Aye Man".
Also in 2002 Knopfler released his third solo album, The Ragpicker's Dream. However, in March 2003 he was involved in a motorbike crash in Grosvenor Road, Belgravia and suffered a broken collarbone, broken shoulder blade and seven broken ribs.[dead link] The planned Ragpicker's Dream tour was subsequently cancelled, but Knopfler recovered and was able to return to the stage in 2004 for his fourth album, Shangri-La.
Shangri-La was recorded at the Shangri-La Studio in Malibu, California in 2004, where The Band made recordings years before for their documentary/movie, The Last Waltz. In the promo for "Shangri-La" on his official website he said that his current line-up of Glenn Worf (bass), Guy Fletcher (keyboards), Chad Cromwell (drums), Richard Bennett (guitar) and Matt Rollings (piano) "play Dire Straits songs better than Dire Straits did." The "Shangri-La" tour took Knopfler to countries such as India and the United Arab Emirates for the first time. In India, his concerts at Mumbai and Bangalore were very well received, with over 20,000 fans gathering at each concert to listen to a legend many thought[by whom?] would never visit their country.
In November 2005 a compilation, Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler was released, consisting of material from most of Dire Straits' studio albums and Knopfler's solo and soundtrack material. The album was made available in two editions, as a single CD (with a grey cover) and as a double CD (with the cover in blue), and was well received. The only previously unreleased track on the album is "All the Roadrunning", a duet with country music singer Emmylou Harris, which was followed in 2006 by an album of duets of the same name.
Released in April 2006, All the Roadrunning reached No. 1 in Denmark and Switzerland, No. 2 in Norway and Sweden, No. 3 in Germany, Holland and Italy, No. 8 in Austria and UK, No. 9 in Spain, No. 17 in the United States (Billboard Top 200 Chart), No. 25 in Ireland and No. 41 in Australia. All the Roadrunning was nominated for "Best Folk Rock/Americana Album" at the 49th Grammy Awards (11 February 2007) but lost out to Bob Dylan's nomination for Modern Times.
Joined by Emmylou Harris, Knopfler supported All the Roadrunning with a limited—15 concerts in Europe, 1 in Canada, and 8 in the United States—but highly successful tour of Europe and North America. Selections from the duo's 28 June performance at the Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal City, California, were released as a DVD entitled Real Live Roadrunning on 14 November 2006. In addition to several of the compositions that Harris and Knopfler recorded together in the studio, Real Live Roadrunning features solo hits from both members of the duo, as well as three tracks from Knopfler's days with Dire Straits.
A charity event in 2007 went wrong; a Fender Stratocaster guitar signed by Knopfler, Clapton, Brian May, and Jimmy Page, which was to be auctioned for £20,000 to raise the money for a children's hospice, was lost when being shipped. It "vanished after being posted from London to Leicestershire, England". Parcelforce, the company responsible, agreed to pay US$30,000 for its loss.
Knopfler released his fifth solo studio-album Kill to Get Crimson on 14 September 2007 in Germany, 17 September in the UK and 18 September in the United States. During the autumn of 2007 he played a series of intimate 'showcases' in various European cities to promote the album. A tour of Europe and North America followed in 2008. Many older songs from the early solo days, such as Cannibals (from Golden Heart), were brought back to life. Cannibals opened up shows throughout Europe. Cannibals was received extremely well particularly in Ireland as it was released by an Irish Country Artist David Maguire in 2007. The new version of Cannibals that David Maguire and his Band released was the 7th most requested song on Irish radio that year.
Continuing a pattern of high productivity through his solo career, Knopfler began work on his next studio album, entitled Get Lucky, in September 2008 with long-time band mate Guy Fletcher, who again compiled a pictorial diary of the making of the album on his website. The album was released on 14 September the following year and Knopfler subsequently undertook an extensive tour across Europe and America. The album met with moderate success on the charts (much of it in Europe) reaching No. 1 only in Norway but peaking in the Top 5 in most major European countries (Germany, Italy, Holland). The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard European Album chart and at No. 5 on the Billboard Rock Album chart.
Knopfler's solo live performances can be characterised as relaxed—almost workmanlike. He uses very little stage production, other than some lighting effects to enhance the music's dynamics. He has been known to sip tea on stage during live performances. Richard Bennett, who has been playing with him on tour since 1996, has also joined in drinking tea with him on stage. On 31 July 2005, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, BC, the tea was replaced with whisky as a "last show of tour" sort of joke.
In February 2011, Knopfler began work on his next solo album, Privateering, once again working with Guy Fletcher.
In July 2011, it was announced that Knopfler would take time out from recording his new album in order to take part in a European tour with Bob Dylan during October and November. The next year Knopfler covered a Bob Dylan song, "Restless Farewell", for an Amnesty International 50th Anniversary celebration record.
Country music 
In addition to his work in Dire Straits and solo, Mark Knopfler has made several contributions to country music. In 1988 he formed country-focused band The Notting Hillbillies, with Guy Fletcher, Brendan Croker and Steve Phillips. The Notting Hillbillies sole studio album, Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time was released in 1990 and featured the minor hit single "Your Own Sweet Way". Knopfler further emphasised his country music influences with his collaboration with Chet Atkins, Neck and Neck, which was also released in 1990. "Poor Boy Blues", taken from that collaboration, peaked at No. 92.
Knopfler's other contributions include writing and playing guitar on John Anderson's 1992 single "When It Comes to You" (from his album Seminole Wind). In 1993 Mary Chapin Carpenter also released a cover of the Dire Straits song "The Bug". Randy Travis released another of Knopfler's songs, "Are We in Trouble Now", in 1996. In that same year, Knopfler's solo single "Darling Pretty" reached a peak of No. 87.
Knopfler is featured on Kris Kristofferson's album "The Austin Sessions", (on the track "Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends") released in 1999 by Atlantic Records.
Personal life 
Mark Knopfler has been married three times. His first marriage was to Kathy White, his long-time girlfriend from school days. They separated before Knopfler moved to London to join Brewers Droop in 1973. In November 1983, Knopfler married his second wife, Lourdes Salomone. Their marriage produced twin sons, Benji and Joseph (born 1987), both of whom are musically talented and aspiring musicians, according to Knopfler. His marriage to Salomone ended in 1993. On Valentine's Day 1997, Knopfler married his third and current wife, British actress and writer Kitty Aldridge, on the Caribbean island of Barbados. They had been dating for three years. Their marriage has produced two daughters.
Musical style and equipment 
Musical style 
Mark Knopfler is left-handed, but plays right-handed, and fingerpicks (using a personal variant of the clawhammer style) instead of using a plectrum (i.e., "pick"). Fingerpicking is usually associated with the acoustic guitar, but Knopfler usually (though not always) plays an electric guitar. He revealed during a French interview that he uses a pick for his rhythm work during recording sessions. He surprised the interviewer by pulling a pick out of his pocket and saying that he usually carries one. He has long favoured Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster style guitars. Fender carries a Mark Knopfler Artist Series Stratocaster. During the 1980s he came to appreciate the tone of the Gibson Les Paul and his original 1958 has been used regularly in the studio and on stage.
The following is a list of guitars that Knopfler has used on recordings and on tour.
- Beltona Electro Resonator 1995
- Burns Baldwin 12-string c. 1965–70 ("Angel of Mercy")
- Danelectro 59 DC Standard c. 1998–2001, lima black
- Danelectro Silvertone 1452 1968, red sunburst
- Don Grosh Electrajet 2008, Olympic white
- Eko 700 1960, black ("Song for Sonny Liston")
- Erlewine Automatic, red c. 1980s ("Industrial Disease")
- Fender Duo Sonic 11 (Kill to Get Crimson album)
- Fender Stratocaster 1954, sunburst, hard tail (serial number 059, "Jurassic Strat") ("You Don't Know You're Born", "Everybody Pays", "Summer of Love", "Shangri-La", "The Car Was the One", "Remembrance Day")
- Fender Stratocaster 1961, fiesta red, rosewood neck, hard tail (serial number 68354) (used from 1977–80, "What It Is")
- Fender Stratocaster 1962, red, Schecter neck (serial number 80470) (main guitar, 1977–79)
- Fender Stratocaster 1965, Olympic white (2000–02, "Sailing to Philadelphia")
- Fender Stratocaster 2003, Mark Knopfler model, hot rod red (serial numbers SE00000 and SE00001) ("We Can Get Wild", "Punish the Monkey", "Let it All Go", "The Fish and the Bird")
- Fender Telecaster 1954, butterscotch blond (serial number 4545) (Missing... album, "A Night in Summer Long Ago", "Boom Like That", "Border Reiver", "So Far from the Clyde")
- Fender Telecaster 1966, sunburst, Schecter bridge (serial number 178112) (Missing... album)
- Fender Telecaster Thinline 1969, black (serial number 226254) ("Water of Love")
- Fernandes Stratocaster, blue (Love Over Gold album)
- Gibson Advanced Jumbo 1938, sunburst (Chet Atkins Musician Days, "Before Gas & TV", "Remembrance Day")
- Gibson Southerner Jumbo 1953, sunburst ("All That Matters", "Back to Tupelo", "Sucker Row")
- Gibson J-45 c. 1950s, vintage sunburst (Missing... album, "Iron Hand")
- Gibson ES-5 Archtop 1951, natural (Brother in Arms album, The Notting Hillbillies tour)
- Gibson Super 400 CES 1953 , natural, 'Alnico' magnet pick-ups (serial number 15808) ("Your Latest Trick" (live), "Fade to Black", "Run Me Down" (live))
- Gibson L-5 1960, sunburst (Missing... album)
- Gibson ES-175D 1960, sunburst (serial number 510514) (Love Over Gold album, Brothers in Arms album)
- Gibson Chet Atkins Classic Electric 1982, antique natural (Love Over Gold Tour, Brothers in Arms Tour)
- Gibson ES-335 1958, natural (Wag the Dog album, Sailing to Philadelphia Tour)
- Gibson ES-335 1959, natural ("Baloney Again")
- Gibson ES-330 1960, natural ("Behind with the Rent", "Madame Geneva's")
- Gibson ES-335 1960, natural (Get Lucky album)
- Gibson Les Paul 1958, sunburst, humbucker pick-up model (Golden Heart Tour, "Baloney Again", "Last Laugh", "Speedway at Nazareth", "Junkie Doll", "Long Highway", "5:15 am", "Back to Tupelo", "Boom Like That", "Whoop Dee Doo", "The Trawlerman's Song", "The Scaffolder's Wife", "Before Gas & TV", "Cleaning My Gun", "Remembrance Day")
- Gibson Les Paul Standard 1959, sunburst
- Gibson Les Paul Special 1959, cherry (Cafe Races shows, Dire Straits album)
- Gibson Les Paul Reissue 1983, sunburst ("Brothers in Arms", "Money for Nothing", "You and Your Friend")
- Gibson Les Paul Reissue 1985, sunburst (serial number 12849) (Live Aid)
- Gibson Custom Les Paul 1959 Reissue 2005, blue (Get Lucky Tour)
- Gibson SG Standard c. 1960s, white ("Two Young Lovers" on the Love Over Gold Tour)
- Godin Acousticaster, black (On Every Street Tour)
- Gretsch Chet Atkins Hollowbody 6120 1957, red ("5:15 am", "Back to Tupelo", "Summer of Love", "The Fizzy and the Still", "Punish the Monkey", "In the Sky", "Hard Shoulder", All the Roadrunning Tour, Kill to Get Crimson Tour)
- Gretsch Super Chet 7690, autumn red (serial number 84055) (a gift from Chet Atkins)
- Höfner Super Solid V2 1964, red (Knopfler's first guitar, purchased for £50 in 1964)
- Martin acoustic HD-40MK
- Martin acoustic 000-40S
- Martin acoustic 00028 ("Brothers in Arms")
- Melancon Pro Artist, Stratocaster style, red
- Monteleone Isabella (Get Lucky album)
- N.S. Phillips Nobby 12
- N.S. Phillips Nobby 14 ("Get Lucky")
- National Style O-14 Fret 1938 (serial number B1844) ("Water of Love", "Portobello Belle", "Romeo and Juliet", "Telegraph Road", "The Man's Too Strong", "When It Comes to You", "No Can Do", "Done With Bonaparte")
- National Style O-14 Fret 2006
- National Tricone 1928 (Duolian String Pickers shows)
- Ovation Adamas, black ("The Man's Too Strong" on the Brother in Arms Tour)
- Ovation Adamas, blue burst (2) (Love Over Gold album)
- Ovation Classic, sunburst ("Private Investigations" video)
- Ovation Custom Legend, natural (Making Movies rehearsals)
- Pensa-Suhr Custom 1984, purple (John Suhr's first guitar built for Knopfler, used on "So Far Away", "Ride Across the River"" on the Brothers in Arms Tour)
- Pensa-Suhr Stratocaster 1985, white (Brothers in Arms Tour)
- Pensa-Suhr Stratocaster c 1980s, red ("Two Young Lovers" on the 'On Every Street Tour', in open G tuning)
- Pensa-Suhr Stratocaster 1986, black (serial number 014) (Golden Heart Tour, Eric Clapton Tour 1987–89)
- Pensa-Suhr Stratocaster 1988, flamed maple (MK1 serial number 001, the basis for Pensa-Suhr MK and Pensa MK1 models) (Mandela Concert, "Feel Like Going Home", "Calling Elvis", "Heavy Fuel", "Planet of New Orleans", The Notting Hillbillies Tour, Knewborth Concert, On Every Street Tour, Prince's Trust, Golden Heart Tour)
- Pensa-Suhr 1988, koa (Land of Dreams album, Saturday Night Live, 1988)
- Pensa-Suhr 1989, trans red, Pau Ferro neck (Neck and Neck album)
- Pensa 1993, flamed koa, Lindy Fralin '54 designed pick-ups ("Father and Son", "Golden Heart", and "Last Exit to Brooklyn" on the Golden Heart Tour)
- Pensa MK2 1996, amber (Chet Atkins Musician Days, Sailing to Philadelphia Tour, Mark Knopfler & Friends, All Roadrunning Tour, Kill to Get Crimson Tour)
- Pensa MK80 2004, Daphne blue (order number was 0188, numbered 0001, the only MK80 with a triple zero serial number) ("Whoop De Doo")
- Pensa MK2 Plus 2005, amber burst (Shangri-La Tour)
- Ramírez 4CWE Classical ("Private Investigations" on the on Every Street Tour, "Postcards from Paraguay" for the Shangr-La Tour)
- Rickenbacker 425 ("Portobello Belle" on the on Location Tour)
- Schecter Dream Machine, candy apple red (serial number S8218) (1980–92 tours)
- Schecter Dream Machine, candy apple red (Love Over Gold album)
- Schecter Dream Machine, Daphne blue (Love Over Gold album)
- Schecter Dream Machine, sunburst ("Tunnel of Love" on the Making Movies album, stolen in 1980)
- Schecter Dream Machine, sunburst (serial number S8001) (1980–86 tours, donated to Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Auction and sold for over $50,000 USD)
- Steinberger GL2 Standard, black ("Money for Nothing" on the Brothers in Arms Tour)
- Teisco Spectrum 5 1966, sunburst ("Postcards from Paraguay")
- Teisco Spectrum 5 1966, blond ("True Love Will Never Fade")
The following is a list of effect pedals that Knopfler has used in the studio and in live performances.
The following is a list of amplifiers that Knopfler has used in the studio and in live performances.
Honours and awards 
- 1983 BRIT Award for Best British Group (with Dire Straits)
- 1986 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal with Dire Straits (for "Money for Nothing")
- 1986 Grammy Award nomination for Song of the Year (for "Money for Nothing")
- 1986 Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance with Chet Atkins (for "Cosmic Square Dance")
- 1986 Juno Award for International Album of the Year (for Brothers in Arms with Dire Straits)
- 1986 BRIT Award for Best British Group (with Dire Straits)
- 1987 BRIT Award for Best British Album (for Brothers in Arms with Dire Straits)
- 1991 Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration with Chet Atkins (for "Poor Boy Blues")
- 1991 Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance with Chet Atkins (for "So Soft, Your Goodbye")
- 1992 Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance with Chet Atkins (for "Neck and Neck")
- 1993 Honorary Doctor of Music from Newcastle University
- 1995 Honorary Doctor of Music from the University of Leeds
- 1999 OBE
- 2001 Masiakasaurus knopfleri (a species of dinosaur) was named after him by scientists who had listened to his music while digging the fossils.
- 2003 Edison Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Music Industry, the highest award for musicians in the Netherlands
- 2006 Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound Album (for Brothers in Arms 20th Anniversary Edition with Dire Straits)
- 2007 Honorary Doctor of Music from the University of Sunderland
- 2007 Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album with Emmylou Harris (for "All the Roadrunning").
- 2009 Music Producers Guild Award for Best Studio (for Knopfler's British Grove Studios[dead link]
- 2009 PRS for Music Heritage Award (with Dire Straits)
- 2011 Steiger Award
- 2012 Ivor Novello Award Lifetime Achievement Award
Knopfler's influence 
- Played together with Dire Straits' drummer Pick Withers on Bob Dylan's studio album Slow Train Coming, which was recorded in May 1979 and released 20 August; providing Dylan with what Dylan considered his best guitar backing since the days of Mike Bloomfield and Robbie Robertson. Knopfler also played in and co-produced Dylan's 1983 album Infidels.
- British author and humorist Douglas Adams said about Knopfler, in his book So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish: "Mark Knopfler has an extraordinary ability to make a Schecter Custom Stratocaster hoot and sing like angels on a Saturday night, exhausted from being good all week and needing a stiff drink."
- The dinosaur species Masiakasaurus knopfleri was named after Knopfler. The palaeontologists were listening to Dire Straits recordings when they discovered the species.
- On "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody of "Money for Nothing", "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*", which merges the instrumentals of "Money For Nothing" with the lyrics to the theme song for the American television series The Beverly Hillbillies ("The Ballad of Jed Clampett"), Knopfler played guitar in the song, recreating the guitar riff from the original song. He would only allow Yankovic to parody the song if he was allowed to play on the recording.
- Knopfler's song "Going Home" from the soundtrack to Local Hero is played before kick-off at Newcastle United's home matches at St James' Park.[dead link]
- "Going Home" is also the theme music for John Stanley on Sydney radio station 2UE.
- According to director Rob Reiner, Knopfler agreed to write the music for Reiner's The Princess Bride on one condition: Reiner had to put the hat that he wore in This Is Spinal Tap in Princess Bride, "somewhere in evidence", as homage to the rock mockumentary. The hat makes its appearance in Princess Bride in the Grandson's (Fred Savage) bedroom.
- Indian cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar is a fan of Mark Knopfler. They once had a joint interview on cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle's show Harsha Online.
- The 2008 stage production Celtic Thunder has covers of multiple Mark Knopfler songs. "Brothers in Arms", written by Mark Knopfler and performed originally by Dire Straits, is performed by Ryan Kelly. In addition, the song "Irish Boy" (from Cal) and "Going Home" (from Local Hero) are performed together as an instrumental, entitled "Cal/Local Hero".
Dire Straits albums 
- Dire Straits (1978)
- Communiqué (1979)
- Making Movies (1980)
- Love over Gold (1982)
- Alchemy (1984, live)
- Brothers in Arms (1985)
- Money for Nothing (1988, compilation)
- On Every Street (1991)
- On the Night (1993, live)
- Live at the BBC (1995, live)
- Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits (1998, compilation)
- Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler (2005, compilation)
Solo albums 
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|2000||Sailing to Philadelphia||4||16||2||19||3||7||2||1||11||2||1||60|
|2002||The Ragpicker's Dream||7||47||9||18||7||4||2||1||8||5||5||38|
|2007||Kill to Get Crimson||9||41||10||-||15||9||4||2||-||4||3||26|
- Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler (2005, compilation)
- The Trawlerman's Song (2005, EP)
- One Take Radio Sessions (2005, EP live)
Soundtrack albums 
- Local Hero (1983)
- Cal (1984)
- Comfort and Joy (1984)
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)
- Screenplaying (1993 compilation)
- Wag the Dog (1998)
- Metroland (1999)
- A Shot at Glory (2002)
Collaborative albums 
- Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time (with The Notting Hillbillies, 1990)
- Neck and Neck (with Chet Atkins, 1990)
- All the Roadrunning (with Emmylou Harris, 2006)
- Real Live Roadrunning (with Emmylou Harris, 2006)
Produced albums 
- Infidels (1983) by Bob Dylan. Although Mark disowned the reworked version of the album as released, his production is still noticeable. Left off the album, but later released on The Bootleg Series, is the critically acclaimed "Blind Willie McTell", featuring only Dylan, singing and playing piano, accompanied by Mark Knopfler on acoustic guitar.
- Knife (1984) by Aztec Camera. This Scottish indie/new wave band was mostly a vehicle for the work of Roddy Frame, much as Dire Straits only ever recorded Mark Knopfler compositions.
- Miracle (1987) by Willy DeVille. The album was dedicated to Mark and his wife "for their support which was nothing short of a Miracle in a time of Dire Straits." The album ends with the ballad "Storybook Love", the theme from The Princess Bride movie.
- Land of Dreams (1988) by Randy Newman. The album includes the single "It's Money that Matters", which unabashedly revisits the Dire Straits song "Money for Nothing".
- The Sailor's Revenge (2012) by Bap Kennedy. The album includes Mark on guitar on the songs "Shimnavale", "Lonely No More", "The Right Stuff", "Please Return to Jesus", "The Sailor's Revenge", "Working Man", and "Celtic Sea". Mark also sings backing vocals on "Celtic Sea".
Additional albums 
The following additional albums contain guitar performances or guest appearances by Mark Knopfler.
Guest singles 
- 1991 "Voices That Care" Various US No. 11 US AC No. 6
Music videos 
|1990||"Poor Boy Blues" (w/ Chet Atkins)||David Hogan|
|1991||"Voices That Care"(Various)||David S. Jackson|
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