Alan Clark (keyboardist)

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Alan Clark
Alan Clark on stage
Alan Clark on stage
Background information
Born (1952-03-05) 5 March 1952 (age 71)
County Durham, England
GenresRock and roll, classical,
Occupation(s)Musician, producer, musical director
Years active1960s–present

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

Early life[edit]

As a six-year-old child, Clark received piano lessons. From the age of nine years, he 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 northeast of England, and thereafter forged 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[3] and remained a major influence on the band's music until the band's eventual dissolution in 1995. He co-produced the band's final album, On Every Street.[1]

Alan Clark w Jack Sonni on stage w Dire Straits Legacy - Pablo Ghaderi Photography

In 1983 he played on Bob Dylan's album Infidels and also on Dylan's following Empire Burlesque album. Clark also worked with Knopfler on some of his film soundtrack work, most notably Knopfler's most successful soundtrack on the film Local Hero, in which he also makes an appearance as a piano player. He has also worked with Mark's brother David on his solo albums. Throughout his time with Dire Straits, he was also Tina Turner's musical director and played on/arranged her hit "Private Dancer", 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 Clapton's 24 Nights concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 1990 and 1991. He co-wrote with Clapton the score for the movie Communion.

Clark has also played and recorded with other artists including, among others:

In 2001 Clark composed the music for the long-running paranormal show Most Haunted. He has also composed music for 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, The Inspiration, to commemorate 25 years of the Great North Run, which was screened and performed live with the northern Philharmonic at Sage Gateshead.

In 2009, Clark reunited with Dire Straits band member John Illsley for a concert in San Vigilio, Italy, and with Illsley and Phil Palmer in 2010 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, which featured drummer Steve Ferrone from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Dire Straits' guitarist Phil Palmer. They went on to perform other successful shows as the Dire Straits Legacy, which included Dire Straits members Danny Cummings, Mel Collins, Jack Sonni, and producer/bass player Trevor Horn.[4]

He is 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, an album for LEGACY called Three Chord Trick.

In 2017 he recorded in Real World studios with Italian artist Pacifico.

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

In 2019 he co-produced with Trevor Horn and Phil Palmer, Renato Zero's hugely successful record Zero Il Folle and played on several major records including Trevor Horn Reimagines the Eighties and Rod Stewart's You're In My Heart.

In June 2019, he played a solo piano concert at the Milan Piano Festival.

In 2020, he co-wrote and co-produced several tracks on Renato Zero's hugely successful Zerosettanta album.

In Sept 2021, he released his solo piano record Backstory.


  • Lonesome No More – Gallagher and Lyle
  • Love over Gold – Dire Straits
  • Alchemy – Dire Straits
  • Twisting by the Pool – Dire Straits
  • Brothers in Arms – Dire Straits
  • On the Night – Dire Straits
  • On every Street – Dire Straits
  • SleepwalkingGerry Rafferty (1982)
  • InfidelsBob Dylan (1983)
  • Private DancerTina Turner (1984)
  • Empire Burlesque – Bob Dylan (1985)
  • Down in the Groove – Bob Dylan (1988)
  • Wild Wild West – Escape Club
  • North and South – Gerry Rafferty (1988)
  • The Shouting StageJoan Armatrading (1988)
  • JourneymanEric Clapton (1989)
  • Still Water – Bee Gees
  • Big RiverJimmy Nail (1995)
  • Crocodile Shoes II – Jimmy Nail (1996)
  • Andromeda Heights – Prefab Sprout (1997)
  • Life Goes On – Gerry Rafferty (2009)
  • Three Chord Trick – Legacy
  • Zero il Folle – Renato Zero 2019
  • Zerosettanta – Renato Zero 2020
  • You're in my Heart – Rod Stewart
  • Rest in Blue – Gerry Rafferty 2021
  • Backstory – Alan Clark 2021
  • I changed Many Houses – Tiromancio 2021


  1. ^ a b "Alan Clark". Discogs. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Dire Straits". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Strait talking with Alan Clark as he returns to the stage". 27 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Interview – Alan Clark Talks Dire Straits, Their Legacy, + More". 2 October 2018.

External links[edit]