John Illsley Says Mark Knopfler Resembled Fame To The Fumes Coming Out Of A Car Exhaust

Dire Straits bassist John Illsley spoke to Express and reflected his ideas and thoughts about being an internationally famous musician that many people want to meet in person. In addition, he revealed a metaphor used by the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Mark Knopfler.

As you might know, John Illsley and Mark Knopfler have been pursuing a friendship for a very long time aside from being the co-founders of Dire Straits in 1977. Actually, the band’s original name was Café Racers, but they started using Dire Straits when Withers’ flatmate suggested the name while they were working on their first songs in a friend’s kitchen.

Dire Straits gained great fame and wealth by selling millions of records and hitting the charts worldwide. Furthermore, they preserved their success thanks to remarkable records and unforgettable live performances. However, the band members realized that fame could be dangerous for musicians after witnessing their colleagues become addicts and even kill themselves due to the music industry’s oppressive and competitive environment.

During his recent interview, John Illsley wanted to draw attention to this dangerous side of fame and highlighted that he wanted to be a successful musician, not a famous one. The bassist recalled Mark Knopfler’s words about fame, saying that he resembled it to ‘The fumes that come out of car exhaust’ to warn young musicians who sacrifice many things to become famous.

Illsley shared his ideas, saying:

“Success yes, fame no thank you. Mark likened fame to the fumes that come out of car exhaust.

Consequently, it seems like John Illsley agrees with his bandmate Mark Knopfler who thinks that being obsessed with fame and popularity can cause many problems. Therefore, Dire Straits members have always been focused on producing successful albums and songs rather than being famous.