top of page

Mark Knopfler

There are not many guitarists with such a unique playing style that their sound can be identified in any situation. Mark Knopfler is one of them and he is celebrating a birthday today !!!

(Photo: AP)

Here are 20 interesting facts about the talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist:

1. He was born on 12 August 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland as Mark Freuder Knopfler. He is born to a Jewish father of Hungarian-Scottish descent. His father was born in Hungary, but in 1939 he fled to Scotland due to Nazi persecution.

2. In his youth he asked his father to buy him a Fender Stratocaster guitar, but because of the high price he had to compromise on a cheap "Hofner" guitar that cost £ 50.

3. He is left-handed playing the guitar with his right hand.

4. He is among the few guitarists who play electric guitar without a guitar pick.

5. He has written and composed all of the songs on all but three "Dire Straits" studio albums. These albums also give credit to other artists, including the song "Money for Nothing" which gives credit to Sting.

6. Regardless of "Dire Straits" albums, he has released ten solo albums, four albums with other artists and eleven soundtracks, including for the films "The Princess Bride" and "Wag the Dog".

7. The band's name "Dire Straits" means turbulent water between two straits. It was offered to them by a friend because of their difficult financial situation.

8. There is a Fender Stratocaster guitar named after him: "Fender Mark Knopfler Stratocaster". Beyond that, there are two more Signature guitars in his name from the "Martin" guitar company.

9. Knopfler is known for his clean guitar playing. The band's first album featuring the hit "Sultans Of Swing" played almost with no guitar effects.

10. He wrote and played with Bob Dylan on the album "Slow Train Coming". In March 1979, Dylan was at the last "Dire Straits" show at the "Roxy" in Los Angeles. Dylan approached Knopfler after the show and offered him to play on his next album. Knopfler immediately agreed and also recommended "Dire Straits" drummer, Pick Withers. They both played on the album.

11. Knopfler also produced and played on Dylan's 1983 album "Infidels".

12. There is a dinosaur named after him, the "Masiakasaurus knopfleri".

13. He wrote the song "Private Dancer" for Tina Turner.

14. He plays the guitar in the song "King's Call" from the album "Solo in Soho" by Phil Lynott.

(Photo: IMDB)

15. He also plays solo in the song "Ode to Liberty (The Protest Song)" from Phil Lynott's "The Philip Lynott Album".

16. In 1989 he formed the band "The Notting Hillbillies".

17. He plays lead guitar in the song "Time Out of Mind" from Steely Dan's "Gaucho" album.

18. He has about 50 guitars from different companies, in which he actively plays (not collectibles). Each guitar has its own role and sound for different songs.

19. He is ranked 44th on "Rolling Stone" magazine's list of the 100 best guitarists of all time.

20. His solo in the song "Sultans of Swing" is ranked 22nd in the list of the 100 greatest solos of all time by "Guitar World" magazine.

And now listen to the playlist we made for you from different stations in his career: Click Here.

Follow us on Facebook or Subscribe to our website

"Face/Off" - Israel's Rock Blog & Podcast


Enjoying the Blog? Subscribe to get it right to your mail!

Thank you !!

bottom of page