Mel Collins born
Terry Williams born
Terry Williams (drums, 82-88) is born in Swansea.
David ‘Pick’ Withers born
David ‘Pick’ Withers (drums, 77-82) is born in Leicester.
Tommy Mandel born
Tommy Mandel (keyboards, 82-83) is born in New York, New York.
John Illsley born
John Illsley (bass/vocals, 77-95) is born in Leicester.
Mark Knopfler born
Mark Knopfler (vocals/guitar, 77-95) is born in Glasgow.
Alan Clark born
Alan Clark (keyboard, 80-95) is born in Durham.
Phil Palmer born
Phil Palmer (guitar, 91-92) is born in London.
David Knopfler born
David Knopfler (guitar/vocals, 77-80) is born in Glasgow.
Hal Lindes born
Hal Lindes (guitar, 80-85) is born in Monterey, California.
Joop de Korte born
Joop de Korte (Percussion, 81-88) is born in Brielle, The Netherlands.
Paul Franklin born
Paul Franklin (pedal steel, 91-92) is born in Detroit, Michigan.
Jack Sonni born
Jack Sonni (guitar, 85-88) is born in the borough of Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Chris White born
Chris White (sax, 85-92) is born in Bristol.
Danny Cummings born
Danny Cummings (percussion, 91-92) is born in Sheffield.
Chris Whitten born
Chris Whitten (drums, 91-92) is born in Blackpool.
Guy Fletcher born
Guy Fletcher (keyboards, 84-95) is born in Maidstone.
First recording session
Dire Straits record their first demo at Pathway Studios, including an early version of ‘Sultans Of Swing’, which BBC Radio London DJ Charlie Gillett would later play on-air.
First show as Dire Straits
The band performs for the first time as Dire Straits, supporting Squeeze at The Albany in Deptford.
Demo played on BBC Radio
The demo recording of ‘Sultans Of Swing’ is played on the BBC Radio London program, Honky Tonk.
Recording session for first album begins
Recording for Dire Straits’ debut album begins at Basing Street Studios.
Second tour, supporting Climax Blues Band
The band hits the road again, opening for Climax Blues Band. Another tour supporting Styx follows, as well as concerts supporting Gerry Rafferty and Elvis Costello.
Recording for ‘Communiqué’ begins
Sessions for the second Dire Straits album begin at Compass Point Studios in Nassau before moving to Alabama’s famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio to complete the album.
The Communiqué tour begins in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Consisting of 116 shows in 14 countries, the tour includes their first performances in North America – a whirlwind 51 shows in 38 days.
Recording for ‘Making Movies’ begins
Sessions for the third Dire Straits album, Making Movies, begin at Power Station in New York.
David Knopfler leaves
David Knopfler leaves the band to pursue a solo career. His debut album, Release, is issued in 1983.
‘Making Movies’ released
Making Movies, Dire Straits’ third album, is released. Produced by Jimmy Iovine and Mark, Making Movies peaks at #4 on the UK charts and includes the singles ‘Romeo And Juliet’, ‘Skateaway’ and ‘Tunnel Of Love’.
On Location Tour
The first night of the On Location Tour at the Commodore in Vancouver, Canada. The tour will span 116 shows in 19 countries before ending in July 1981, and serves as the introduction for new members Alan Clark and Hal Lindes.
Recordings for ‘Love Over Gold’ begin
Sessions for the next Dire Straits album begin at the Power Station in New York. Pick Withers will leave the band shortly after recording is complete.
Love Over Gold Tour
First night of the Love Over Gold tour, the first with new drummer Terry Williams. The band goes on to play 92 shows in 19 countries.
Recording ‘Brothers In Arms’ begins
Work begins on Brothers In Arms, recording at AIR Studios on the island of Montserrat. Hal Lindes leaves the band, these sessions were the first to include new members Guy Fletcher and Jack Sonni.
‘Brothers In Arms’ Tour
The marathon tour in support of Brothers In Arms begins in Yugoslavia. The tour lasts a full year, encompassing 248 shows in 23 countries, including a remarkable 14 consecutive nights at Wembley Arena.
‘Brothers In Arms’ is released
Brothers In Arms is released. Produced by Mark Knopfler and Neil Dorfsman, the album features the hit singles ‘Money For Nothing’, ‘Walk Of Life’, and ‘So Far Away’. The record-breaking album goes to #1 in a dozen countries, winning the Brit for Best British Album and Grammys for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group (for ‘Money For Nothing’), Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical, and Best Music Video, eventually selling more than 30 million copies worldwide.
‘Money For Nothing’ video released
The groundbreaking, computer-animated video for ‘Money For Nothing’ is released. The video will help drive the single to the top of the US singles charts. It goes on to win Video of the Year and Best Group Video at the 1986 MTV Video Awards , and is the first video shown when MTV Europe launches in 1987.
Wembley Arena residency
Dire Straits play 14 concerts in a row at the iconic Wembley Arena, beginning July 4th with the Prince’s Trust Rock Gala performance; featuring special guests Sting, Pete Townshend, Hank Marvin, Francis Rossi, T-Bone Burnett, Nils Lofgren, Paul Brady and Dave Edmunds.
Dire Straits perform an afternoon set at Wembley Stadium as part of the historic Live Aid benefit concert, which is seen by a global television audience of nearly 2 million people. Sting guests on ‘Money For Nothing’. The band plays their own headlining show at Wembley Arena the same night.
Gala for Joanne Gillespie
Dire Straits make a surprise appearance at the Mayfair Ballroom in Newcastle for a charity gala concert in honour of 11-year-old Joanne Gillespie – the National Children of Courage and North East Personality award winner who published the 1989 book Brave Heart about her fight against cancer. The concert raised more than £35,000.
Recording for ‘On Every Street’ begins
Sessions for the final Dire Straits album, On Every Street, begin at London’s Air Studios and continue until May 1991.
‘On Every Street’ Tour
The On Every Street tour begins with a five-night stand at the Point Depot in Dublin, Ireland. Continuing for more than a year, the tour will finally wrap up in Zaragoza, Spain after 229 shows in 19 countries.
‘On Every Street’ released
Dire Straits’ sixth and final studio album, On Every Street, is released. Including the singles ‘Calling Elvis’, ‘Heavy Fuel’ and the title track; the album tops the charts throughout Europe and reaches #12 in the US.
Mark Knopfler and Friends
Under the name ‘Mark Knopfler and Friends’, Dire Straits performs three gigs at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, and one at Beaulieu Castle. The shows consisted of a set by The Notting Hillbillies, followed by Dire Straits playing the second hour.