When Dire Straits ascended to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame the other night, it was a bit of a squirm-inducing moment, to say the least. All of the other inductees — Bon Jovi, Nina Simone, The Cars, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and The Moody Blues — either performed or were honored with a tribute performance, and received an induction speech from a celebrity. None of this happened for Dire Straits.
This snubbage was apparently a reaction to Mark Knopfler‘s non-acknowledgement of the band’s induction. He did not attend the ceremony, with no explanation for his absence. Pick Withers was not in the house either, along with Mark’s bandmate brother David, who said the Rock Hall backed out of an agreement to pay for his travel expenses. So, with about half the band missing, John Illsley, Alan Clark and Guy Fletcher pretty much inducted themselves when Dire Straits became the first band in the history of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame to not be introduced by an induction speaker at the ceremony, with Illsley designating himself as the official presenter.
“As a fellow member I found I might be the most qualified one to do this. It’s a bit weird, but life’s strange. I know it’s a little bit odd, but it’s my honor to welcome Dire Straits into the Hall Of Fame,” he said. “I know there’s been a lot of speculation about the fact that Mark is not here, but I can assure you, it’s just a personal thing. It’s personal reasons, let’s just leave it at that. This is really more about a group of people more than one person, it’s a collective, a brotherhood and that’s something that needs acknowledging tonight.”
Whoo-ee. Witness the uncomfortableness Saturday May 05 on HBO.