Pick Withers Explains He Had To Leave Dire Straits

Dire Straits’ original drummer Pick Withers said in a recent interview with John Beaudin of Rock History Music that he needed to leave the band back in the early ’80s due to several reasons.

The musician detailed his departure:

“I was thinking, ‘God, my identity is getting subsumed into this band where I don’t have any identity anymore. I’m just the drummer of Dire Straits. I’m not even Pick Withers anymore. I’m the drummer in Dire Straits.’ That’s another strand of it or personal issues which we don’t really want to air here, and in the end, they all became this perfect kind of super discontent, and I just thought, ‘If I don’t do it now, I’ll just be married to the money.'”

He continued:

“I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I just wanted to do something else, and I’ve done lots of different things that hadn’t been such high profile, and people say, ‘What do you do?’ ‘Well, I just do different things.'”

Withers also added:

“The first thing I did was just get my wife an equity card which was like a union card for actors. So we did a puppet show around the schools, and I recorded some music for that, and it was funny because it was out of my comfort zone.”

In another interview he gave last year to Vintage Rock Pod, Withers had again reflected on his decision to leave Dire Straits. As he explained, the band playing loudly, its detrimental effect on his ear, and creative differences were also other factors that contributed to his departure.

The drummer noted:

“Lots of elements came together to make, ‘I think I want to do something else now. We started to play very loudly. I was beginning to have trouble with my ears, although I didn’t realize what that was at the time.”

He further expressed:

“I just remember coming off stage and having trouble with my balance, readjusting after being on stage, so that was that element. The music was going away from stuff where I felt that the drums could make a significant contribution or certainly be part of the conversation.”

You can watch his chat below.