Dire Straits say they’ve been offered “huge amounts of money” to reform

“When you stop a machine like the Dire Straits thing, there’s a massive vacuum,” says bassist John Illsley.

John Illsley and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits

Image: Bob King / Getty Images

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Dire Straits founding member John Illsley recently revealed that the band has turned down “huge amounts of money” to get back together.

In a new interview with The Telegraph, the bassist shares that Dire Straits have been receiving regular offers of money for a comeback, though fans should probably not hold their breaths for one anytime soon – or ever, really.

Speaking about the catchup meetings he has with the band’s former manager, Paul Crockford, Illsley says: “Every time we have lunch, [he] says to me, ‘I wish people would stop offering me huge amounts of money to put [Dire Straits] back together.’”

Reflecting on the band’s split, Illsley told the outlet that he was “pretty happy” when “things were coming to an end” because of how “mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted” the members were at the time.

“Most of our marriages were falling apart, we weren’t seeing our children very much – it was all wrong. It’s the usual things that can happen to people in bands,” he says.

The musician also admits that the “massive vacuum” Dire Straits left behind had left him questioning before if it was the right move to call it quits.

“When you stop a machine like the Dire Straits thing, there’s a massive vacuum,” Illsley says. “There’s a massive vacuum. And you ask yourself if it was a good idea. And I had to keep telling myself that it was a good idea.”

“Because you’re doing something else, completely different – I was in London studying painting, I got some lessons, made a terrible mess for seven or eight years, and then started doing art shows. I thought, ‘Okay, this is fun’. And I stopped playing music for quite a while. I leant the bass against the wall and said ‘Thank you very much but I’m doing something different now’.”

Dire Straits were together from 1977 to 1995, including a brief two-year split in 1988.

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