Dire Straits guitarist Jack Sonni has passed away aged 68
Sonni joined the band in 1984, shortly before ahead of their popular Brothers In Arms era.
Image: NurPhoto / Getty Images
Jack Sonni, former guitarist for Dire Straits, has sadly passed away aged 68. A cause of death has not been revealed, but the news has been shared by the band online.
The news of his passing was announced yesterday (31 August) by the band on Twitter, where they wrote, “ Jack Sonni Rest In Peace” along with a black and white photo of the guitarist. It is said he passed away the day before on 30 August.
— Dire Straits 🎸 (@DireStraits77) August 31, 2023
Sonni joined the band in 1984 ahead of their Brothers In Arms era in 1985, and became best (and affectionately) known as “the other guitarist” in the British rock band.
The Brothers In Arms album spent 14 non-consecutive weeks at number one in the UK Albums Chart, and nine in the Billboard 200 in the US. It of course featured some of their most popular hit tracks, including Walk Of Life, Money For Nothing and titular track Brothers In Arms. Sonni later left the band in 1988 following the birth of his twin daughters.
Outside of performing music, in 2001, he also became Vice President of Marketing Communication for Guitar Centre (as reported in this archive), until he left in 2006 to be a writer. Sonni was also writer-in-residence and house manager at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts on Martha’s Vineyard, which eventually closed in 2017. He also returned to playing music on a regular basis with his band, The Leisure Class after his time with Dire Straits.
His official website describes him as “a writer, musician, nomadic raconteur, father and grandfather” who had “taken to heart the reality in the hard-learned lesson that Life is Short.”
It also says that he “embraced a philosophy to Live Well and Live Now in pursuit of creating memorable moments with friends and family.”
Tributes have begun to flow in for the guitarist, just some of which you can read below:
Jack embraced a philosophy to Live Well and Live Now in pursuit of creating memorable moments with friends and family. And he was one who knows the supreme importance of hugging them while you can…because Tomorrow Never Knows.
Rest in Peace Jack Sonni pic.twitter.com/2tpiWMKbm7
— mon_knopfler (@MKGuitars) August 31, 2023
So sorry to hear that Jack Sonni has passed away,with me being a massive fan of Dire Straits I was fortunate enough to see him live twice during the Brothers in Arms Tour . He made his red coat iconic in live aid .I spoke to him on more than one occasion ,lovely guy. R.I.P Jack. pic.twitter.com/FOhFAC0Ulc
— Maxus (@JgSzymon) August 30, 2023
— ⚡ Steve Hughes ⚡ (@Stevehughes1000) August 31, 2023
Our thoughts are with the friends, family and fans of Jack Sonni.