Mark Knopfler – 23 Impressive Facts You Didn’t Know
Mark Freuder Knopfler was born on August 12th 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK and raised in England. He moved with his family to Blyth, near Newcastle when he was 7 years old.
He co-founded the band Dire Straits along with his younger brother David Knopfler. They recorded 6 albums including the 1985 album “Brothers In Arms” which is one of the best selling albums in the world.
Mark then went on to pursue a solo career and has produced 9 solo albums as well as producing 9 film soundtracks.
Those are all facts you probably already know about Mark Knopfler, keep reading for 23 impressive facts about Mark Knopfler you didn’t know.
Table of Contents
He Is Left Handed But Plays Guitar Right Handed
Mark Knopfler is left handed but learned to play the guitar in the right handed style.
This allows him to play using his own unique finger style and is why he can bend two strings together by 2-3 semitones.
He Developed His Unique Finger Style While Playing A Poor Quality Guitar
Mark was sleeping on the floor of his friends flat and found an old guitar with a warped neck and extra thin strings. He found that the only way he could play it, and be heard was to actually use his fingers to pick the strings.
He said he found he could create sounds that he had never been able to create using a pick.
He Has Three Signature Guitars
Mark has three signature guitars which are a Fender Stratocaster, a Martin 000-40S and a Martin HD-40MK.
SEE ALSO: What Guitar Does Mark Knopfler Use?
He Has A Dinosaur Named After Him
The scientists who discovered the fossilised dinosaur were listening to Dire Straits. Which led to them naming their discovery “Masiakasaurus Knopfleri” In honour of Mark’s guitar playing skills.
He Has A Classic Car Collection
Mark Knopfler has a collection of classic cars including a Maserati 300S and an Austin Healey 100S. He not only exhibits these and other classic cars, he also races them as well.
He Wrote Almost All Of Dire Straits Songs
Dire Straits were one of the most influential British bands during the late 1970s and for the next decade. Mark Knopfler was the driving force of the band and wrote most of their songs including;
- Sultans Of Swing
- Brothers In Arms
- Romeo And Juliet
- Walk Of Life
- Tunnel Of Love
- Your Latest Trick
- And Many More
SEE ALSO: Sultans Of Swing Chords & Lyrics
SEE ALSO: Brothers In Arms Chords & Lyrics
SEE ALSO: Romeo And Juliet Lyrics & Chords
He Formed A Folk/Country Group
In 1989 after having had success with Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler formed the Notting Hillbillies, a band with a totally different style. The band was based on an American roots music style.
The folk,blues and country music band released one studio album “Missing…Presumed Having A Good Time” in 1990.
He Won Three Grammy Awards With Chet Atkins
Mark Knopfler collaborated with Chet Atkins to produce the album “Neck And Neck” which was also released in 1990 and won three Grammy Awards.
He Performed At The Royal Albert Hall In 1997
On September 15th 1997 Mark appeared at the “Music For Montserrat” concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Other artists on the same bill included Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Sting, Phil Collins, and Elton John.
He Survived A Motorbike Crash
In March 2003 Mark was involved in a motorbike crash in Grosvenor Road, Belgravia, London. He was left with a broken collarbone, broken shoulder blade and 7 broken ribs.
He Autographed A Guitar For Charity That Got Lost
In 2007 Mark Knopfler signed a Fender Stratocaster along with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Brian May. The guitar was auctioned for £20,000 to raise funds for a children’s hospice.
It was lost when being posted from London to Leicestershire. The company responsible for delivery, parcelforce, paid £15,000 for its loss.
He Has Composed The Soundtrack For Nine Films
Mark Knopfler has recorded soundtrack albums for 9 films. Which are;
- Local Hero (1983)
- Cal (1984)
- Comfort And Joy (1984)
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- Last Exit To Brooklyn (1989)
- Wag The Dog (1998)
- Metroland (1999)
- A Shot At Glory (2002)
- Altamira (2016)
He Has Made Two Collaborative Albums With Emmylou Harris
In 2006 Mark made 2 collaborative albums with Emmylou Harris which were titled; “All The Roadrunning” and “Real Live Roadrunning”.
He Has An OBE
Mark was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on March 30th 2000. He received his OBE from the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
He Has Collaborated With Many Artists
Mark has collaborated with many famous artists including;
- Chet Atkins
- Emmylou Harris
- Eric Clapton
- Bob Dylan
- Elton John
- And many more
He Was Once A Teacher
Before forming Dire Straits, Mark was a lecturer at Loughton College in Essex, UK. He was a lecturer there for 3 years and throughout this period he performed in several pub bands.
He Is An Avid Football Fan
Mark is a devoted fan of Newcastle United and has been since he was a child growing up in Blyth, near Newcastle. He has even written several songs about football.
He Never Wanted To Be Famous
Mark Knopfler has a quiet unassuming demeanour and has been quoted as saying “I’m not interested in being a rock star. I’m interested in being a good musician”.
He Was Guitarist On A Steely Dan Track
Mark Knopfler was one of forty musicians who worked on the Steely Dan album “Gaucho”. He was responsible for the guitar solo on the track “Time Out Of Mind”.
He Does A Lot Of Charity Work
Mark Knopfler is well known for his charitable deeds. He has supported organisations including Live Aid, Amnesty International and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
He Collects Guitars
Mark has over 50 guitars in his collection. But they’re not just for show, each one has been used on a specific track over the years. He has a few rare guitars in his collection including a 1937 Martin 000-45 and a 1958 Gibson Les Paul.
He Is Also A Record Producer
Mark has produced several singles and albums by many artists including Bob Dylan, Randy Newman and Tina Turner.
He Played Guitar On Some Of Country Music’s Finest Albums
Mark played guitar on the George Jones version of “White Lightnin’” which featured on George’s 1994 “The Bradley Barn Sessions” album. He also played guitar on Kris Kristofferson’s “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends” taken from the 1999 album “The Austin Sessions”.
Not forgetting his Chet Atkins collaboration album “Neck And Neck” and his two albums with Emmylou Harris.
Do You Know Any More?
That’s our 23 impressive facts about Mark Knopfler you didn’t know. Do you know any more? We’d love to hear them, please share them with us in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mark Knopfler was born in Glasgow, Scotland, UK on August 12th 1949.
It is true that Mark Knopfler’s brother David was in Dire Straits; in fact, they were co-founders of the band.
Mark Knopfler was a lecturer at Loughton College in Essex for 3 years.
The Dire Strait song that contains the lines “And after all the violence and double talk, there’s just a song in all the trouble and the strife” is “Walk Of Life” which was taken from the album “Brothers in Arms”.
Mark Knopfler is an avid Newcastle United FC fan.
Mark Knopfler does have a dinosaur named after him, it is called “Masiakasaurus Knopfleri”.
The famous guitarist that Mark Knopfler recorded the album “Neck And Neck” with in 1990 is Chet Atkins.
The American singer/songwriter that Mark Knopfler made two collaborative albums with in 2006 is Emmylou Harris.
The Dire Straits song that contains the lines “But baby, I’ll wipe away those bitter tears, I’ll chase away those restless fears” is “Why Worry” which is taken from the album “Brothers In Arms”.
Mark Knopfler took a Saturday job at the Newcastle Evening Chronicle which paid him six shillings and sixpence a week. He never worked at The Times.
The folk/blues/country band that Mark Knopfler formed in 1989 was called “The Notting Hillbillies”.
In 2003 Mark Knopfler had a motorbike crash in Grosvenor Road, Belgravia. Where he received a broken shoulder blade, broken collarbone and 7 broken ribs.
The famous country artist whose version of “White Lightnin’” features Mark Knopfler on guitar is George Jones.
Dire Straits released 6 studio albums.
The first soundtrack album that Mark Knopfler released was “Local Hero” which was released in 1983.
The title of Dire Straits last studio album is “On Every Street” which was released on September 9th 1991.