It was our first trip to London.
The week of June 3rd, 2003.
I was really looking forward to it, and we had selected that week because one of my musical idols, Mark Knopfler, was playing the Royal Albert Hall.
We had booked the trip well in advance, and purchased our tickets to show, as you can see in the photo. I had been following Mark’s band, Dire Straits, since their first album in 1978.
I loved the music, and since I am a guitar player, I aspired to play as well as Mark does. His solos in “Sultans of Swing” mesmerized me. Such a beautiful melody, and his technique is wonderful. I have practiced that solo for years, trying to figure out all the nuances, slowing it down and listening to it time after time. Playing it and replaying until finally I achieved the ability to play along with Mark on my Stratocaster. Heavenly.
So I was extremely disappointed on March 17, 2003 when I heard on the news that Mark had been in a motorcycle accident in London and was injured. I was concerned for his well-being number one, and also I was concerned about the performance I had looked forward to for so long.
A few days later the bad news was delivered. The concert had been cancelled.
On the one hand, I was very disappointed. I have been a fan of Mark’s since day one. And I continue to be a fan. His solo work is as good as or better than his Dire Straits days.
He has mellowed for sure, but then so have I.
His melodies and story telling are among the best in music today. If not THE best.
He is a very talented musician, a great song writer, and a wonderful story-teller.
If you haven’t listened to anything beyond “Money For Nothing”, you haven’t heard the real Mark Knopfler.
Needless to say, we went on our trip, and had a great time. We did a Jack the Ripper walking tour after dark which was fabulous, we toured the Beatles London sights, we visited Bath and Stonehenge, and we did see a concert at the Royal Albert Hall after all. We ended up getting tickets to a performance by Sarah Brightman, which was wonderful.
All in all a great trip. I had already seen Dire Straits perform in Providence Rhode Island, but wanted to see Mark perform solo.
Since he is still touring, I am sure it will happen sometime in the near future.
If you ever have the chance to see Mark live, go for it. You will never be disappointed.
A bit of info on Mark’s accident: