Alan Clark (keyboardist)

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Alan Clark
Dire Straits 1985 Mark Knopfler Alan Clark Jack Sonni.jpg
Alan Clark playing with Dire Straits in 1985
Background information
Born (1952-03-05) 5 March 1952 (age 67)
Great Lumley, County Durham England
GenresRock and roll, folk rock, blues rock
Occupation(s)Musician, Producer, Musical director
InstrumentsKeyboard instruments
Years active1960s-present
LabelsVertigo Records, Warner Bros. Records (US)
Associated actsDire Straits, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Geordie

Alan Clark (born 5 March 1952 in Durham) is an English musician who was the first permanent keyboardist and co-producer of the rock band Dire Straits.[1] In 2018, Clark was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a significant member of Dire Straits.[2]


As a young child, he received piano lessons then from the age of 9 years taught himself. At the age of 13 and while still a pupil at Chester-le-Street Grammar School, he began to play Hammond organ in working men's clubs in the NE of England, and was soon forging a successful career in music which included playing with a reformed Geordie which featured Brian Johnson who would later join [[AC/DC] playing and recording with a duo called Splinter who were signed to George Harrison's Dark Horse label, playing and recording with [[Gallagher & Lyle], and playing on a tour of major UK festivals with Lindisfarne.

Clark joined Dire Straits in 1980, becoming their first and thereafter main keyboard player. Clark continued with Dire Straits, co-producing the band's last album, On Every Street with Knopfler, until the band's eventual dissolution in 1995.[1]

In 1983 he played on Bob Dylan's album Infidels and also on the following Empire Burlesque album. Clark also worked with Knopfler on some of his film soundtrack work, most notably on the film Local Hero, in which he also makes a brief appearance as a piano player. He has also worked with Mark's brother David on his solo albums and recently played some shows in Germany with David. Throughout his time with Dire Straits, he was also Tina Turner's musical director, and played on and arranged her hit "Private Dancer", and toured and recorded with Eric Clapton (Journeyman) as well as playing in the "Orchestra Nights" performances with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Kamen during Eric's 24 Nights concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 1990 and 1991. He co-wrote with Eric Clapton the score for the movie Communion. Clark has also played and recorded with other artists, including the Bee Gees, Gerry Rafferty, The Blessing, Escape Club, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Billy Joel, Lou Reed, Dave Stewart, David Knopfler, Gallagher and Lyle, Prefab Sprout, Mary Hopkin, Shakin Stevens, Matt Monro, Mark Knopfler, Rory Block, Westernhagen, Della Miles, Mick Hucknall, Sky, Joan Armatrading, Lindisfarne, Geordie, Brian Johnson, Jimmy Nail, Robert Cray, Al Green, Jamie Catto, Cheshire, Van Morrison, Sly and Robbie, Roger Daltrey, George Harrison, Elton John, Phil Collins Bruce Willis Jon Anderson, Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Seal, Pet Shop Boys, Legacy.

In 2001 Clark composed the music for the long-running paranormal show Most Haunted. He also composed music for other TV shows and commercials.

In 2004 he performed the theme from Local Hero with Mark Knopfler at the opening of Alan Shearer's bar in Newcastle United football ground.

In 2005 he wrote, directed and scored a film to commemorate 25 years of the Great North Run, called The Inspiration, which was screened and performed live with the northern Philharmonic at The Sage in Newcastle.

In 2010 Clark reunited with Dire Straits band members John Illsley and Phil Palmer at the XRoads club in Rome, playing a set of Dire Straits songs.

In 2011 he formed a band, the Straits, to play the music of Dire Straits at a charity show at the Albert hall, that featured drummer Steve Ferrone from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Dire Straits' guitarist Phil Palmer. The band went on to perform other successful shows.

He is currently a member of a band called LEGACY, which features himself, Phil Palmer, Steve Ferrone, Trevor Horn, Danny Cummings, Mel Collins, Primi de Biasse, and Marco Caviglia, and in 2017 he wrote and produced, with Phil Palmer, and album for the LEGACY called Three Chord Trick.

In 2017 he recorded in Real World studios with Italian artist Pacifico He has also written and recorded the music for many TV commercials

He is a member of Trevor Horn's band and works with Trevor on other projects.

In 2019 he co-produced with Trevor Horn and Phil Palmer, Renato Zero's hugely successful record Zero Il Folle


  1. ^ a b Alan Clark Discography at Discogs
  2. ^ "Dire Straits". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 17 December 2017.

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