John Illsley, the bass player in Dire Straits, has revealed how the bad started and what it took from the members. For him, it involved giving up a huge amount and taking a major risk to get things going. John, who is embarking on a speaking tour about The Life and Times of Dire Straits, opened up exclusively to express.co.uk about his life.
ohn Illsley has revealed what risks it took to start Dire Straits, and how important it was to drop some of his goals to change his life for the better.
Speaking about remembering for his Q&A tour, he said: “You realise that certain things happened at certain times in your life which put you in situations where you meet certain people.
“So I wouldn’t have met Mark [Knopfler] if I hadn’t dropped my job, which I was working at in my early 20s; gone back to university to do a degree in sociology; got a council flat in Deptford; had Mark’s brother David as my flatmate because I couldn’t afford to rent, and I bumped into Mark.
“None of that would have happened unless I had left my job and done that. Other things would have happened and Mark probably would have gone with someone else.
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Dire Straits star opens up on HUGE sacrifice to start band - ‘I took a risk’ (Image: John Illsley/Getty)
“But I was there, he was there, David was there, and somehow or other when we sat down and played together it all made sense.”
For him, the decision to pack in his job and start over is something he does not regret, and he tries to instil the wisdom he learned from it in his children and those he meets.
He said: “So I always say to people, if they’re in any doubt about what direction they feel they should go in life, don’t always take the safe option, take the most interesting option.
“Take charge of your life, especially when you’re younger because you can afford to.
“I had quite a good job in London, dumped it all and went to being a student at Goldsmiths to do sociology