Page last updated at 08:57 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 09:57 UK

Knopfler declines Straits reunion

By Ian Youngs
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Dire Straits
Dire Straits enjoyed a string of hits in the 1980s before disbanding

Dire Straits bassist John Illsley has revealed how he has tried to persuade former bandmate Mark Knopfler to re-form the group - without success.

"He's doing different kinds of music now," said the guitarist, who said he would "love to do" a reunion tour.

"I'm very open to doing whatever's suggested," he added. "I think we've definitely got one more tour left in us, and probably another record too."

According to Illsley, though, this would be "entirely up to Mark".

Formed in 1977, Dire Straits were one of the biggest bands of the '80s thanks to such hits as Sultans of Swing, Money for Nothing and Brothers in Arms.

'Too big'

The British group, which at one stage featured Knopfler's brother David, disbanded in the early '90s.

Illsley, who is about to release an album, Beautiful You, with Irish singer Greg Pearle, said he and Knopfler discussed reforming "from time to time".

John Illsley
Illsley's new record with Greg Pearle is released next week
""He says 'Oh, I don't know whether to start getting all that stuff back together again.'

"Mark and I were the only two left in '93, so it's really up to him and I if it happens at all," he added.

"But he's doing incredibly well as a solo artist, so hats off to him. He's having a perfectly good time doing what he's doing."

Last year Knopfler said he did not miss the global fame that came his way at the height of the band's success.

"It just got too big," he revealed at the Hay Literary Festival.

"If anyone can tell me one good thing about fame, I'd be very interested to hear it."




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