Dire Straits Will Not Perform at RRHOF, says Bassist John Illsley

Dire Straits fans expecting an acoustic performance of “Telegraph Road” at this weekend’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions, take note: it was a joke.

Speaking to Billboard prior to this Saturday’s (April 14) induction ceremony, bassist John Illsley shed light on keyboardist Alan Clark’s revelation that the band–including keyboardist Guy Fletcher–were planning to perform the song unplugged was simply fake news.

“That’s not going to happen,” Illsley–who co-owns the band name with frontman Mark Knopfler. “That’s Alan having a bit of fun. I was hoping people weren’t going to take it too seriously. I wouldn’t perform without Mark there, so it’s as simple as that, really. If Mark’s not there, there’s no point.”

Knopfler’s brother, David, is skipping the ceremony due to financial issues with the hall, but why isn’t Mark coming? Illsley is just as confused as everyone else.

“He just didn’t feel like coming, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “It just didn’t appeal to him, and I appealed to him on several occasions. I said, ‘Look, I’d love you to get your head around this.’ He said, ‘Look, I just can’t do it, John. I’m really sorry. It’s a great honor for us and all the rest of it, and I just can’t get my head around it,’ so I’ve just got to respect it. He’s got his reasons, which he really doesn’t want to share with me which is unusual because we’ve shared most things over the years.”

Instead of a performance, a video package with highlights from the group’s career will be presented.