Pick Withers

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Pick Withers
Withers performing with Dire Straits in 1978
Withers performing with Dire Straits in 1978
Background information
Birth nameDavid Withers
Also known asPick Withers, Pique Withers, Pic Withers
Born (1948-04-04) 4 April 1948 (age 74)
Leicester, England
GenresRock, jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, producer
Years active1964–present

David "Pick" Withers (born 4 April 1948) is an English rock and jazz drummer. He was the original drummer of rock band Dire Straits and played on their first four albums, which included hit singles such as "Sultans of Swing", "Romeo and Juliet" and "Private Investigations".[1] Withers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Dire Straits in 2018.[2][3]


Taught by childhood friend Richard Storer, Withers first played a drum in the Boys' Brigade in his home city of Leicester.[4] He became a professional musician at the age of 17, in an Italian band called The Primitives. This was followed by a band called Spring who had a record contract but little success; they released one album on the RCA label. In the mid-1970s Withers was a house drummer at Rockfield Studios near Monmouth, Wales. He played on records by Dave Edmunds, Hobo, the John Dummer Band and the Gary Fletcher Band, amongst others.[5]

His nickname has been subject to some variations in spelling. During his time with Spring, he was billed as Pique Withers. He is billed as Pic Withers on his appearance on the second Brewers Droop album.

Withers has also studied at Drumtech drum school in London.

Dire Straits[edit]

Withers met Mark Knopfler circa 1976 in North London. Knopfler called around to the house Withers was living in to borrow Simon Cowe's reel to reel tape recorder, and recorded some music with Withers that same day.[6] Withers was briefly a member of folk-rock outfit Magna Carta in 1977, but once Dire Straits gained a recording contract, he turned to drumming for that band full-time.

His style with Dire Straits is distinctive for being restrained, favouring sparse snare drum and hi-hat combinations rather than heavy beats, speed and pyrotechnic flourishes. He played on the Dire Straits albums Dire Straits (1978), Communiqué (1979), Making Movies (1980) and Love Over Gold (1982).

Withers left Dire Straits in the summer of 1982, soon after completing the Love Over Gold sessions. In a 2021 interview in which he was asked why he left, Withers said that the band was becoming too loud, he was tired of the treadmill, and he wanted to try new things.[7] His replacement in Dire Straits was Terry Williams, also a Dave Edmunds sideman.

In 2021, Withers re-surfaced with a new rhythm and blues band called 'Slim Pickin's', [8] later re-named 'Pick's Pocket'.[9]


With Dire Straits[edit]

With others[edit]


  1. ^ Wright, Jade (7 January 2011). "Pick Withers: From Dire Straits and Bob Dylan's drummer to putting on his own gigs in Liverpool – Liverpool Arts – Entertainment". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Bon Jovi, Dire Straits Lead Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018 Class". Rolling Stone. 13 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Dire Straits". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  4. ^ https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6z1w71 BBC Arena
  5. ^ "garyfletchermusic.co.uk". garyfletchermusic.co.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  6. ^ Pick Withers - Percussion Discussion. Percussion Discussion - N Wales Drum Promotions. 5 September 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2022 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ Interview - Why Did Drummer Pick Withers Leave Dire Straits?. Rock History Music. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2022 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Withers, Pick [@pick_withers] (24 February 2021). "Saturday 6th March 2021 at 8pm My new band, 'SLIM PICKIN'S' will be Live from a Theatre in Liverpool! Tickets are selling fast. ■Limited Tickets left!!!■ 'PICK' your ticket NOW! Don't miss out! t.co/hlifWlDHSu t.co/9PkXjnRSpe" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2022 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Withers, Pick [@pick_withers] (3 August 2022). "BOOK NOW LIMITED TICKETS LEFT! t.co/zagep1DqEY t.co/cU1y1BLHsz" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 28 August 2022. Retrieved 1 December 2022 – via Twitter.