Dire Straits Keyboardist Corrects A Mistake About Mark Knopfler In John Illsley’s Book

Dire Straits’ keyboard player Alan Clark recently joined an interview with MusicRadar and talked about his new solo piano album and his entire music career. Clark made a correction to avoid any misunderstanding about the famous line in Dire Straits’ ‘Money For Nothing.’

Alan Clark made a major contribution to Dire Straits’ music until their break up in 1995. Besides his career with Dire Straits, the famous keyboardist also collaborated with many prominent names like Phil Collins, Roger Daltrey, George Harrison, Elton John, and Lou Reed.

Clark also composed the music of some TV shows, commercials, and films. He recently came back with another new work and released his solo piano record, ‘Backstory,’ on September 24, 2021. In the album, Alan Clark included some biggest hits of Dire Straits and also rearranged some tracks that had a deep impression on him.

In the interview with MusicRadar, Alan Clark was asked about his contributions to the iconic Dire Straits song ‘Money For Nothing.’ He talked about the famous line ‘I want my MTV’ from the track and said that there is misinformation circulating around it.

His band member John Illsley had released a memoir called ‘My Life in Dire Straits.’ In the book, Illsley stated that that line was Mark Knopfler’s idea but it turns out that it wasn’t the real story. Clark said that Knopfler had played the song in the rehearsals but that line wasn’t included. Then, when Clark started to play it on the keyboard, it was his idea to incorporate ‘I want my MTV’ into the track.

Here is Alan Clark’s correction on the line in ‘Money For Nothing’:

“Well, there’s that line – ‘I want my MTV’. My esteemed and much-loved fellow band member John Illsley, in his book ‘Brothers in Arms – My Life in Dire Straits,’ mentions it was Mark Knopfler’s idea to include the line ‘I want my MTV’. Entirely forgivable. It was 36 years ago… But it wasn’t Mark’s idea. 

In rehearsals when Mark first played ‘Money For Nothing’ to the band, there was no intro and no ‘I want my MTV’. It started with an early version of that guitar riff. During a break in rehearsals, when most of the band were out of the room, I started creating the intro on my keyboards, singing ‘I want my MTV’. By the end of the day, the track had an intro. That’s the short version. For the record: the idea was mine.”

You can listen to ‘Money For Nothing’ and also Alan Clark’s solo piano album below.