Knight Commander (KBE) or Dame Commander (DBE)
Over the years, Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler received various awards, ranging from MTV awards, Grammy's, BRIT awards and other special awards and recognitions. This page is dedicated to these special occasions. Of course, Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler also received numerous golden en platinum albums, but that's too many to mention here. And allthough this are great awards for sales recognition, I decided to only include awards and recognitions that are not necessary connected with record sales unless the award is really special. I only included the actual won awards, not all nominations. Furthermore, Mark Knopfler had the honour to present some awards to fellow musicians himself which are also included in this special Awards-section. If you have additional photos to make the page more complete, I would be happy to receive them. Many thanks and enjoy the modest overview below.
Awards & recognition for Dire Straits / Mark Knopfler
|Year||Award / recognition||Category|
|1982||BRIT Award||Best British group (Dire Straits)|
|1982||Mister Fantasy Award||Unknown, probably Best British group (Dire Straits)|
|1983||Ivor Novello Award||Best lyrics (Private Investigations)|
|1984||Ivor Novello Award||Best film theme or song (Going home)|
|1986||BPI Award||Best British group (Dire Straits)|
|1986||BRIT Award||Best British group (Dire Straits)|
|1986||Grammy Award||Best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal (Dire Straits for Money for nothing)|
|1986||Grammy Award||Best Country Instrumental Performance (Chet Atkins & Mark Knopfler for Cosmic square dance)|
|1986||Grammy Award||Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical (Neil Dorfsman for Brothers in arms)|
|1986||MTV Video Music Awards||Video of the year (Money for nothing)|
|1986||MTV Video Music Awards||Best group video (Money for nothing)|
|1986||Juno Award||International album of the year (Brothers in arms)|
|1987||BRIT Award||Best British album (Brothers in arms)|
|1987||Grammy Award||Best music video, short form (Brothers in arms)|
|1987||ASCAP Award||Awards for So far away, Money for nothing, Walk of life|
|1988||Special guitar shaped award||Sales recognition (Brothers in arms)|
|1989||Ivor Novello Award||Outstanding contribution to British music (Dire Straits)|
|1989||Wax figure at Rock Circus & Madame Tussauds||Mark Knopfler wax figure at Rock Circus (London) & Madame Tussauds (Amsterdam)|
|1991||Grammy Award||Best Country Vocal Collaboration Mark Knopfler & Chet Atkins (Poor boy blues)|
|1991||Grammy Award||Best Country Instrumental Performance Mark Knopfler & Chet Atkins (So soft your goodbye)|
|1993||Honorary Doctorate of Music||Honorary Doctorate of Music for his outstanding achievements in the field of music|
|1995||Honorary Doctorate of Music||Honorary Doctorate of Music for his outstanding achievements in the field of music|
|1994||Opening of the Centre for Popular Music||Opening of the Centre for Popular Music at the John Marley Centre part of Newcastle College|
|1995||Ondas Award||Best international act (Mark Knopfler)|
|1996||Wak of Fame||Walk of Fame tile in Rotterdam|
|2000||OBE||Officer of the British Empire|
|2001||Dinosaur named after Mark Knopfler||The dinosaur Masiakasaurus knopfleri was named after Mark Knopfler|
|2001||Opening Department of Music||Opening Newcastle university's Department of Music|
|2002||Opening Master Session of the Blair school of Music||Opening Master Session at Vanderbilt University|
|2002||Award of appreciation||Award of appreciation for unique and irreplacable contribution to the world of country music|
|2003||Edison Award||Lifetime achievement award|
|2005||Signed bat from Sachin Tendulkar||Special gift during Shangri-La world tour|
|2006||Grammy Award||Best surround sound album (Brothers in arms - 20th Anniversary Edition)|
|2006||Visit Brighton Institute of Modern Music||Visiting a college at the Institute of Modern Music and giving a musical masterclass|
|2006||Silver Heart||Silver Heart tribute to Mark Knopfler|
|2007||Honorary Doctorate of Music||Honorary Doctorate of Music for his outstanding achievements in the field of music|
|2009||Music Producers Guild Award||Best Studio (Mark Knopfler's British Grove Studios)|
|2009||PRS for Music Heritage Award||Location of first Dire Straits gig|
|2010||Walk of Fame||Walk of Fame paving slab in Oberhausen|
|2010||APRS Sound Fellowship||Significant contribution to the art, science or business of sound recording|
|2011||Der Steiger Award||Accomplishments in music|
|2012||Portrait||Portrait of Mark Knopfler painted by artist Colin Davidson|
|2012||Ivor Novello Award||Lifetime achievement award|
|2013||Pro Sound Awards||British Grove: Studio of the year|
|2014||Tunnel of Love lyrics embedded in Spanish City||Mark gave his permission for the Tunnel of Love lyrics to be used in the stonework|
|2015||A bronze plaque bearing Mark's name||Voted a Local Hero by the people of Tyneside|
|2018||Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction||Dire Straits inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame|
|2018||Living Legend Award||Mark Knopfler received the Living Legend award during the SSE Scottish Music Awards|
Awards presented by Mark Knopfler
|1991||Sony Radio Awards||
Gold Award for Outstanding Contribution won by Charlie Gillett and presented by Mark Knopfler
|2006||BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards||Life time achievement award won by Richard Thompson and presented by Mark Knopfler|
|2008||Brave Heart Award||Children who have shown incredible courage battling to overcome illness, handicap, or other adversities|
|2009||MOJO Outstanding Contribution To Music award||Award won by Joe Brown and presented by Mark Knopfler|
1982 - BRIT Award
Date: 8th February 1982
Venue: Grosvenor House Hotel, London UK
The Brit Awards (stylized as the BRIT Awards; often simply called the Brits) are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British" or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trust. At the 2nd Annual Brit Awards, Dire Straits won a Brit Award for Best British Group.
Dire Straits formation in 1982:
Front left to right: Mark Knopfler, Hal Lindes, Alan Clark.
Back left to right: John Illsley, Terry Williams.
1982 - Mister Fantasy Award
Date: 21st October 1982
Venue: Mister Fantasy Award Gala, Rome, Italy
I have no idea what this Italian award is all about, but Mark Knopfler got one for Dire Straits. Exact category is unknown to me, probably Best British Group. Mark collected the award himself.
1983 - Ivor Novello Award
According to the D.S.I.S. newsletter from April 1984, Mark Knopfler won an Ivor Novello Award for the lyrics of Private Investigations.
1984 - Ivor Novello Award
Date: 19th April 1984
Venue: Grosvenor House Hotel, London UK
The Ivor Novello Awards, named after the Cardiff born entertainer Ivor Novello, are awards for songwriting and composing. They are presented annually in London by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and were first introduced in 1955. The Ivors remain the only award ceremony in the musical calendar that is not influenced by publishers and record companies but judged and presented by the writing community. The award itself is a solid bronze sculpture of Euterpe, the Muse of lyric poetry. Mark Knopfler won an Ivor Novello Award at the 29th Annual Ivor Novello Awards for Best film theme or song (Going Home).
The Ivor Novello Award (not Mark's actual one):
1986 - BPI Awards
Date: February 1986
Venue: unknown location, UK
BPI stands for British Phonographic Industry. The BPI Awards were broadcasted on TV in February 1986. Dire Straits could not collect the award themselves as the band was in Australia by then for the last leg of their Brothers in arms world tour. Mark Knopfler asked Hank B. Marvin to receive the award on behalf of Dire Straits which he did. On the broadcast, you could see Dire Straits on a pre-recorded video sitting around a piano in Australia and Mark thanked the viewers for voting Dire Straits as Best British Group. Then Hank came on to accept the award. He gave a small speech in which he clearly showed his appreciation for the band ".. who have made it throughout the world on talent, on the strength of their music, on the quality of their music. So, long live Dire Straits, thank you on their behalf."
1986 - BRIT Award
Date: 10th February 1986
Venue: The Grosvenor House Hotel, London, UK
The Brit Awards (stylized as the BRIT Awards; often simply called the Brits) are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British" or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trust. At the 5th Annual Brit Awards, Dire Straits won again a Brit Award for Best British Group.
Dire Straits formation 1985-1986:
Left to right: Jack Sonni, Guy Fletcher, John Illsley, Mark Knopfler, Terry Williams, Alan Clark, Chris White.
Below a picture of the original 64 page programme of that day:
1986 - Grammy Award
Date: 25th February 1986
Venue: Venue Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, USA
A Grammy Award (originally called
Gramophone Award) — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of
Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding
achievement in the music industry. The annual awards ceremony features
performances by prominent artists, and some of the awards of more popular
interest are presented in a widely viewed televised ceremony. It is the music
equivalent to the Emmy Awards for television, and the Academy Awards for film.
The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor musical
accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. The 28th Grammy Awards were
held on 25th February 1986. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from
the previous year, 1985.
Dire Straits won a grammy for Money for nothing in the category Best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal.
Screenshot from the Money for nothing video clip and Dire Straits live in action at Wembley Arena 10th July 1985:
At the same Grammy Award ceremony from 1986, two more Gammy's were won which are related to Mark Knopfler:
Chet Atkins & Mark Knopfler won a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance (Cosmic square dance). The song is originally featured on Atkins' album Stay Tuned, released in 1985.
Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins:
And producer / enigineer Neil Dorfsman won a Grammy for Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical (Brothers in arms).
Neil Dorfsman and Mark Knopfler in the control room of Air Studios Montserrat during the recording sessions of the Brothers in arms album:
The Grammy awards are named for the trophy: a small, gilded gramophone statuette:
1986 - MTV awards
Date: 5th September 1986
Venue: The Palladium, New York, USA
This was the third annual MTV Video Music Awards 1986. Mark Knopfler won two awards during the show in New York. One for best group video and one for best music video. Both for the Money for nothing video clip. This was the first video played on MTV Europe. The network went on the air 1st August 1987, six years after MTV in the US. The innovative video was one of the first to feature computer generated animation. The characters were supposed to have more detail, like buttons on their shirts, but they used up the budget and had to leave it as is. After winning the second award and Mark was asked what he was going to do with them, he said they would make "cool bookends". The separate picture of the award shows the actual award that was given to manager Ed Bicknell. Click here for a newspaper article.
Impression of the award winning Money for nothing video clip:
1986 - Juno Award
Date: 10th November 1986
Venue: Harbour Castle Hilton, Toronto, Canada
The Junos recognize excellence in the Canadian Music Industry by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Dire Straits won a Juno Award for International Album of the year with Brothers in arms.
1987 - BRIT Award
Date: 9th February 1987
Venue: Grosvenor House Hotel, London, UK
The Brit Awards (stylized as the
BRIT Awards; often simply called the Brits) are the British Phonographic
Industry's annual pop music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of
"British" or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym
for British Record Industry Trust.
At the 6th Annual Brit Awards, Dire Straits won a Brit Award for Best British
Album (Brothers in arms). Mark Knopfler received the award from Robert
Plant in the category "Best British album". Mark is notable surprised that he is
the winner since this Brit Awards was held in 1987 and the album Brothers in
arms is from 1985.
Picture of all winners of the BRIT Award 1987:
Mark Knopfler a little underdressed:
1987 - Grammy Award
Date: 24th February 1987
At the 29th Annual Grammy Awards, Dire Straits won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video short form (Brothers in arms).
Impression of the award winning Brothers in arms video clip:
1987 - ASCAP award
Date: 30th September 1987
Venue: London, UK
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (commonly known as ASCAP) is an American not-for-profit performance-rights organization (PRO) that protects its members' musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance, and compensating them accordingly. ASCAP collects licensing fees from users of music created by ASCAP members, then distributes them back to its members as royalties. In effect, the arrangement is the product of a compromise: when a song is played, the user does not have to pay the copyright holder directly, nor does the music creator have to bill a radio station for use of a song. ASCAP honors its top members in a series of annual awards gala in London, England.
Mark Knopfler won three ASCAP awards at the 7th ASCAP award gala. Mark won the awards for the songs So far away, Money for nothing and Walk of life.
Below a small newspaper article:
1988 - Special guitar shaped award
Venue: unknown, UK
The following is taken from a Dutch magazine in February 1989: "Brothers in arms was released in 1985 and is now 177 weeks in the LP list. This sixth and best sold Dire Straits album received four times platinum status. Over 400.000 copies were sold in The Netherlands of which 150.000 on CD format. To celebrate this record of sold CD's, Phonogram created a special CD-award in the shape of a Dobro guitar. The presentation of the award to Mark Knopfler recently took place in the UK. Mark gratefully received the guitar from Jan Corduwener, director of Phonogram BV." Left to right in the front: Jan Corduwener and Mark Knopfler. In the back: Hein van de Ree (director of Phonogram UK), Ed Bicknell (manager Dire Straits) and Dries van der Schuyt (promotion manager Phonogram BV. This guitar (made out of glass) was the award to commemorate the first 3.000.000 copies worldwide of the Brothers in arms album on CD-format.
1989 - Ivor Novello Award
Date: April 1989
Venue: Grosvenor House Hotel, London UK
The Ivor Novello Awards, named after the Cardiff born entertainer Ivor Novello, are awards for songwriting and composing. They are presented annually in London by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and were first introduced in 1955. The Ivors remain the only award ceremony in the musical calendar that is not influenced by publishers and record companies but judged and presented by the writing community. The award itself is a solid bronze sculpture of Euterpe, the Muse of lyric poetry. At the 34th Annual Ivor Novello Awards, Dire Straits won an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding contribution to British music. A bit of a strange moment as Dire Straits did not release any album or were on tour by that time. Still, great recognition for sure!
The Ivor Novello Award (not Dire Straits´ actual one):
1989 - Wax figure at Rock Circus & Madame Tussauds
Not really an award but great recognition for sure!
At the end of 1989, Mark Knopfler got his own wax figure by Madame Tussauds at the London Pavilion Piccadilly Rock Circus exhibition in London. The exhibition was opened in 1989 by Jason Donovan and closed completely in September 2001. Visitors walked around the exhibition wearing headphones which used infra-red technology to beam relevant audio material according to what you were looking at. The centrepiece of the exhibition was a 'live' show performed by a series of lifelike animatronic figures, looking at the history of Rock music from 1950 to the present day. The audience sat in an auditorium which rotated to view the various stages. The wax figures that made up the exhibition could take up to six months to create at a cost at the time of around £30,000. The animatronic figures could take up to a year and cost again at the time £100,000 each. In 1998, I was in London and visited Rock Circus and of course took a few photos. Mark Knopfler stands in a Brothers in arms scenery with a golden record for the Money for nothing compilation album hanging next to him on the wall and also his handprint could be found there.
Mark Knopfler's hand print with signature:
Here is a picture taken by someone else:
In July 1998, while walking towards Wembley Stadium, I noticed various British popstars on a wall made out of tiles. Has nothing to do with the wax figure of course but it's funny to see that Mark's figure is pictured in the same clothes as the wax figure:
Years later (after Rock Circus in London was closed), I visited Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam and again found Mark's wax figure over there. The scenery was completely changed but the figure looked the same. Unsure if they made more copies of the wax figure or that the figure was transferred from London to Amsterdam after Rock Circus was closed. Here are some pictures of Madame Tussauds building in Amsterdam and the wax figure that was showed there:
1991 - Grammy Awards
Date: 20th February 1991
Venue: Radio City Music Hall, New York, USA
In November 1990, the
collaboration album Neck and neck was released by Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins.
A few months later at the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards in New York, Mark and Chet
won two Grammy Awards : one for Best Country Vocal Collaboration (Poor boy
blues) and one for Best Country Instrumental Performance (So soft your
I have a video from Nashville Now (1991, exact date unknown) where you can see that Chet Atkins gets his own street name "Chet Atkins PL" in Nashville. During the ceremony unveiling the street name, many of Chet's closest friends were present, including Mark Knopfler. As an extra surprise, Mark and Chet received Grammys there for Neck and Neck. In the show they called it "an uncollected bonus" so most likely this are the Grammys that were won but not collected in New York, 20th February 1991. The screenshots below are taken from that event:
Location Chet Atkins PL in Nashville, USA:
1993 - Honorary Doctorate of Music
Date: 8th May 1993
Venue: University, Newcastle, UK
Mark Knopfler is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s finest guitarists, as well as a hugely successful singer/songwriter. Mark received an Honorary Music Degree by the University of Newcastle. The following article comes from an English newspaper dated from 9th May 1993:
1994 - Opening of the Centre for Popular Music
Date: 25th October 1994
Venue: Centre for Popular Music at the John Marley Centre part of Newcastle College, Newcastle, UK
Mark Knopfler paid a visit to the Centre for Popular Music to formally open the brand new recording and practice facilities at the Newcastle College. It costed more than £2.000.000 to create. This opening is not of course really an award , but certainly great recognition for Mark to open this new music centre.
Mark officially opening the Centre for Popular Music:
1995 - Honorary Doctorate of Music
Venue: University, Leeds, UK
Mark Knopfler is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s finest guitarists, as well as a hugely successful singer/songwriter. Mark received an Honorary Music Degree by the University of Leeds.
1995 - Ondas Award
Date: 13th November 1995
Venue: Gran Gala De Entregada XLII Premios Ondas, Barcelona, Spain
The Premios Ondas (Spanish: literally "wave awards", also known in English as the as Ondas Awards) have been given since 1954 by Radio Barcelona, a subsidiary of Cadena SER, in recognition of professionals in the fields of radio and television broadcasting, the cinema, and the music industry. Mark Knopfler received an Ondas Award for Best International Act. He gracefully collected the award himself and also played three songs that evening: Imelda, Golden heart and Brothers in arms (all playback).
1996 - Walk of Fame
Date: 2nd June 1996
Venue: Schiedamsedijk, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
After the great years of Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler visited The Netherlands again in 1996 on his first solo tour. On 2nd June 1996, when Mark was in Rotterdam to play at the Ahoy, he had the honour to become one of the stars on the Dutch Walk of Fame, originally located at the Schiedamsedijk, Rotterdam. This Walk of Fame is the largest in Europe, counting 235 tiles. Unfortunately, in February 2010 it was decided that the Walk of Fame will become smaller and to situated between Ahoy and Zuidplein. For the relocation and refurbishment, the municipality of Rotterdam has 60.000 Euros available, just enough for 50 tiles. All other 185 tiles will be auctioned, incuding the tile of Mark Knopfler.
The original Walk of Fame at the Schiedamsedijk:
Mark Knopfler's tile:
Handprints in the making:
2000 - OBE
Date: 30th March 2000
Venue: Buckingham Palace, London, UK
Mark Knopfler was awarded with an Order of the British Empire. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions:
Mark was rewarded with the OBE (Officer of the British Empire).
2001 - Dinosaur named after Mark Knopfler
Date: January 2001
Location: Mahajanga Basin, near the village of Berivotra, northwestern Madagascar
Masiakasaurus was a small predatory theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. It was named in 2001 by Scott D. Sampson, Matthew Carrano, and Catherine A. Forster. The name of the new dinosaur is derived from "masiaka", the Malagasy word for “vicious” and "sauros", which is Greek for “lizard.” That makes the name "vicious lizard". Knopfleri honors musician Mark Knopfler, lead singer of Dire Straits. The reason for the reference to Knopfler is two-pronged. First, to help pass the time excavating fossils under the baking Malagasy sun, expedition crews played and enjoyed a great deal of Knopfler's music. Second, and perhaps more significantly, his music appeared to have an additional, unanticipated effect-it brought good fortune in the hunt for fossils. Whenever Knopfler's music was played in the quarry, crew members seemed to uncover more bones of Masiakasaurus. Although naming a dinosaur after a musician is hardly standard paleontological practice -indeed this is likely a first- the expedition crew thought the decision to be entirely appropriate. As Sampson puts it, "Finding fossils entails a heavy dose of serendipity, and we'll take good luck any way we can get it!" Masiakasaurus knopfleri had an estimated adult body length of around 2 meters and lived around 70 million years ago. It had a long neck and tail, walked on two feet, and weighed about 35 kilograms. But the most unique feature of the newly discovered Masiakasaurus knopfleri is its teeth, some of which protruded from its jaw almost horizontally.
The excavation site in Madagascar:
The actual remains of Masiakasaurus knopfleri:
In 2001, Martin Guitars made the
HD-40 MK Signature Edition on which all the songs for The ragpicker’s dream
were written by Mark Knopfler.
Nice detail of this Martin guitar is that the neck block has laser-etched dinosaur Masiakasaurus knopfleri on it:
2001 - Opening Department of Music
Date: 4th December 2001
Location: Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
Mark Knopfler paid a visit to Newcastle University to
to formally open
the department’s brand new recording and practice facilities at the university's Department of Music. The University
has invested more than £500,000 to create four new recording studios fully
equipped with the latest in digital mixing and recording facilities, three
advanced work stations and five practice rooms. Knopfler said: "By investing in
these up-to-the-minute facilities, the University is giving its students a
chance to combine their talent and creativity as performers with a sound
knowledge of production and recording technology involved in the music industry.
It's fantastic to see this very tangible demonstration of the University’s
commitment to ensuring that its students have a head start in one of the
fastest-moving and most demanding industries in the world", he added. The new
facilities consist of a suite of five practice rooms and three work stations
which have been converted from a derelict store room; an old, disused laboratory
which has been renovated to provide accommodation for two Studios each
with its own separate control room; and the existing Hopkins Studio, in the
basement of the University’s King’s Hall, which has been divided to create a new
studio plus a suite of workstations for student beginners. During the visit,
Mark Knopfler toured the new facilities and saw them in use, and talked to
students and staff from the Department of Music.
Newcastle University’s Music Department, which has a long history of training classical musicians, is now making a name for itself as one of the fastest-expanding departments in the UK for pop music studies, including performance and technology based production, and also boasts the only Folk and Traditional Music degree in England. So, this is opening is not really an award, but certainly great recognition for Mark to open this special Department of Music. On the right photo you can see Mark Knopfler with the head of the Department of Music, Professor Richard Middletonar.
Mark Knopfler playing Hard Rock - the National Duolian steel guitar formerly owned by blues legend Booker White (aka Bukka White) which was later immortalised in the Eric Bibb song, "Booker's Guitar" :
2002 - Opening master session of the Blair School of Music
Date: 1st February 2002
Location: Blair School Of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
Mark Knopfler was here for the opening of the master session of the Blair School of Music 2002's "Conversation Series".
2002 - Award of appreciation
Venue: Emerald Sound Studios, Nashville, USA
In 1999, Mark got a guitar from Chet Atkins Chet signed for him on the body. It says: For Mark, a great friend and musician, Chet Atkins, CGP '99. It is a one of a kind Gibson 'Chet Atkins' SST prototype which Mark gave away to be on display in the Country Music Hall of fame. This is one of several guitars which Chet gave to Mark. On 18th April 2002, Mark received an award of appreciation for his unique and irreplacable contribution to the world of country music.
2003 - Edison Award
6th March 2003
Venue: Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The award is comparable to the U.S. Grammy Award, the Echo German or British Brit awards. The Edison award consists of a bronze statue created by sculptor Pieter d'Hont. The Edison is one of the oldest in the world music awards. Only the American Grammy is one year older than the Dutch Edison. Mark Knopfler won a lifetime achievement award which was handed to him by Adam Curry. The event was broadcasted on Dutch radio station 'Radio 538' and commercial TV-station 'SBS-6'. Mark also performed three songs that evening: Walk Of Life, Devil Baby and What It Is.
2005 - Signed bat from Sachin Tendulkar
Date: 4th March 2005
Place: Mumbai, India
The Shangri-La world tour 2005 took Mark Knopfler and his band to India for a few concerts at the start of the tour. When the band arrived at the hotel, the whole band and crew were all given the traditional Indian (tikka) vermillion streak you can see on on Mark's forehead on the pictures below. After the press conference, Mark had a short meeting with a big fan of Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits. That fan is Sachin Tendulkar, an Indian cricketer widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. Sachin presented Mark with one of his bats which he personally signed for Mark. In turn, Mark then gave Sachin a signed signature Fender Strat. Allthough the signed bat is of course not an official award, I thought it was great enough to add it here as recognition for Mark. The woman on the photo is Tendulkar's wife, Anjali.
here for an interview with Mark Knopfler
talking about Sachin Tendulkar.
2006 - Grammy Award
Date: 8th February 2006
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, USA
At the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, Chuck Ainlay (surround mix engineer), Bob Ludwig (surround mastering), Chuck Ainlay & Mark Knopfler (surround producers) won a Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album for Brothers in arms - 20th Anniversary Edition. The album was remixed for both DVD-Audio and SACD formats. Chuck Ainlay was also co-producer of the album with Dire Straits’ leader, Mark Knopfler, while Bob Ludwig was the mastering engineer. The high-resolution surround-sound engineering work, using original engineer Neil Dorfsman's tracks, was painstakingly done at Knopfler's British Grove Studios in London, which is equipped with ATC loudspeaker monitors in a 5.1 configuration. The ATC SCM300ASL (300A) is mounted in standard L/C/R configuration, while two more 300As are mounted on a unique track system for surround. Dual ATC SCM0.1/15ASL PRO (Sub1/15) subwoofers alongside the left and right mains, provide the LFE monitoring. The idea to track-mount rear surround 300As came after a discussion between Knopfler and Ainlay about lack of a real standard for their location in the horizontal plane. Film mix engineers tend to prefer them at 100 degrees or so, while many recording mix engineers tend to want them up to 135 degrees or so from center. “We thought there ought to be a way to offer a flexible solution, where every engineer who uses the room can set the rear monitors wherever they prefer,” Ainlay says. “The result was to mount them on a track that allows them to be easily moved wider or narrower, from about 100 degrees to 145 degrees, with basically a push of a finger, letting the engineer put them exactly where they want without changing the distance to the listening location. It's really cool.”
Track mounted rear surround ATC SCM300ASL loudspeaker at British Grove Studios:
For Brothers in arms: 20th Anniversary Edition, Ainlay started with Dorfsman's original master tapes, which were recorded on the first iteration of a Sony digital multitrack that supported only 24 tracks. “Some of the original recordings were spread over a bunch of different tapes that we first had to locate," he explains. "We transferred up to 120 tracks per song from the master multitracks, slave multitracks and even some of the 'safeties' to arrive at all of the assets necessary to mix the album.” Ainlay used the latest model Sony DASH unit, the 3348HR, as well as a Studer 800 analog machine to feed discrete multitrack outputs to transfer into the DAW using AMD Dual Opteron processors and Apogee 16X A/D converters. Everything was saved to hard disk using the latest version of Steinberg’s Nuendo software at 24 bits, 96 kHz. Mixing was done on a Neve 88R console, with tracks individually bused from Nuendo directly to the console. In addition, a 5-channel surround effects mix in Nuendo was brought into the console and an SSL compressor was used across the mix bus for overall compression. From there, Ainlay plied his talents to transform the tracks into a stunning surround presentation before handing them off to Ludwig for final mastering.
Chuck Ainlay (left) and Mark Knopfler at British Grove Studios.
2006 - Visit Brighton Institue of Modern Music
Date: August 2006
Venue: Brighton Institue of Modern Music, Brighton, UK
Mark Knopfler was the latest in a series of celebrities to visit the Brighton Institue of Modern Music. Mark delivered a musical masterclass for the aspiring musicians. Of course not a real award, but great recognition that he was asked to do this.
2006 - Silver Heart
Date: 19th October 2006
Venue: Civic Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
The Variety Club have presented Mark Knopfler with their highest accolade, the Silver Heart, at a special Tribute Lunch held at the Civic Centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Thursday 19th October 2006. Around 700 people packed the Banqueting Hall to hear Jools Holland MC the Tribute with contributions from, among others, John Illsley, fellow Geordies Jimmy Nail, Tim Healey, Alan Shearer, and legendary Shadows guitarist, Bruce Welch. Filmed tributes were also featured from various contributors including Eric Clapton, Sting, Emmylou Harris and Lord David Puttnam. Surrounded by friends and well-wishers, Mark spoke eloquently about his early life, of growing up in Newcastle and his deep affection for Northumberland. Mark Knopfler and Guy Fletcher also performed Wild theme at the Luncheon at the Civic Centre at the end of the afternoon. The Silver Heart was presented to Mark by the region chairman Peter Johnson. A wonderful tribute to the region's very own local hero. Click here for a article by Evening Chronicle.
Mark in an interview, just before the start of the Silver Heart tribute:
The actual tribute:
Guests watch the story of Mark's life on the big screen:
Mark's performance of Wild theme (note the autograph on the guitar, Knopfler donated two signed Fender Stratocaster guitars which raised £5,000 each):
The little programme made for this special ocasion:
2007 - Honorary Doctorate of Music
Date: 11th July 2007
Venue: University, Sunderland, UK
Mark Knopfler was made an honorary Doctor of Music at Sunderland University for his outstanding achievements in the field of music.
Taken from the website of the university of Sunderland:
One of North-East’s most famous sons was honoured by the University of Sunderland today (Wednesday, July 11) for his wonderful services to the music.
Former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler was joined by around 2,000 students at the university’s annual academic awards ceremony at the Stadium of Light.
Mark received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from university Chancellor Lord Puttnam for his outstanding contribution in the field of music.
Proud Geordie Mark, who was brought up in Gosforth, is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s finest fingerstyle guitarists, as well as a hugely successful singer/songwriter.
Although best known as the frontman for Dire Straits, he has also enjoyed a very successful solo career over the past decade.
In the mid-80s, when Dire Straits had released Brothers in Arms - one of the best selling albums of all time – they were tagged 'the biggest band in the world'. Their unforgettable set during Live Aid in 1985, with fellow Geordie Sting, helped to cement that tag.
After 18 years with the band, selling over 100 million albums and doing several world tours, Mark, who was brought up in Gosforth, felt it was time to get back to his roots as a musician and concentrate on a solo career. Since then he has released four critically acclaimed albums.
From a very early age there were indications that Mark’s life was to be inextricably linked with music. At 18 months old he could sing, probably influenced by the many hours listening to the BBC radio show “Listen with Mother”.
However, it was his Uncle Kingsley who had the biggest impact on his “music education”, with his harmonica, banjo and his love of Boogie-Woogie music.
At sixteen, Mark set up a harmony duo with school-friend Sue Hercombe, who he taught the art of fingerpicking. During this time the duo played Newcastle’s folk clubs and Mark also got his first taste of celebrity, with an appearance on BBC Look North with Mike Neville.
Mark has also written music for several films, including Local Hero, Cal, The Princess Bride, Last Exit to Brooklyn and Wag the Dog and has played and recorded with artists including Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Randy Newman and the late Chet Atkins.
The self-taught guitarist is well known for his charity work and his passion for the North-East.
The North-East, and its people, have had a huge influence on his music. They’ve also been one of the reasons why he has not been swept away by fame, like so many others in his profession.
Mark said: “It’s a thrill and an honour to receive this award from the University of Sunderland. What I also like is that awards like this recognise the achievements of those people who do not go down the academic road.”
Mark’s award came at the same time as the university introduced a new music course.
The new combined programme, run by ADM& C and C & T, is the BSc in Sound and Music Technology, which will provide students with the skills to enter the music industry, either as studio sound engineers, or with the technical skills to augment their talents as performing artists.
This new programme will commence in September and will add to our work in the performing arts, and technology, giving new opportunities to students.
2009 - Music Producers Guild Award
Date: 12th February 2009
Venue: Café de Paris, London, UK
British Grove Studios is a recording studio located at 20 British Grove in Chiswick, West London, owned by the Mark Knopfler. The award was presented by The Music Producers Guild. It promotes and represents all individuals in the music production and recording professions. It is a professional organisation that embodies collective and individual creative contributions to the production and recording of all genres of music and media related activities. Mark's British Grove Studios was the winner of the prestigious Music Producers Guild Award for 'Best Studio'. The award was presented at Café de Paris in London. British Grove Studios was built by Mark Knopfler as "a monument to past and future technology". It has two studios. Alongside modern technology, the equipment includes two old EMI mixing consoles: a very rare tube desk from the 1960s like the ones used by George Martin and The Beatles and a later console on which the album Band on the run was recorded. The large console in studio one is a custom-made Neve 88R, while the console in studio two is an API Legacy. The main speakers are ATC monitors in a 5.1 configuration. Specifically, the full-range models are ATC SCM 300ASL (300A) mounted in standard left-center-right configuration, with two more 300As on a unique track system for surround. Dual ATC SCM0.1/15ASL PRO (Sub 1/15) subwoofers alongside the left and right mains provide the LFE monitoring.
Mark used this studio to record his most recent albums Kill to get crimson, Get lucky and Privateering.
Widescreen shot taken by Guy Fletcher:
Picture from 2018:
Recording engineer Chuck Ainlay in the control room:
2009 - PRS for Music Heritage Award
Date: 3rd December
Place: Farrer House, Church Street, Deptford, south-east London, UK
Mark and John Illsley attended a short ceremony in Deptford to unveil a plaque on the site of the first Dire Straits performance. The award, presented by the PRS (Performing Right Society) for music, is part of a national campaign to highlight areas where significant musical events have taken place. The special plaque has been mounted outside the ground floor of Farrer House, Church Street, Deptford where the original group, vocalist and lead guitarist Mark Knopfler, rhythm guitarist David Knopfler, bass guitarist John Illsley and drummer Pick Withers once shared a council flat and performed their first ever gig in 1977. Mark Knopfer admitted they had fiddled the electric meter to give the band free power. Mark recalled: "This was my bedroom and we ran the power out of the back window over the balcony to the set next to the road and waited for a crowd to gather. John was the only one of us with a car back then and he would pile everything in and drive to the gig and the rest of us would catch the bus - they were great days and great memories". The Chairman of PRS, Ellis Rich said: "We’re delighted to be honouring Dire Straits with our Heritage Award. During their illustrious career Dire Straits sold over 120 million albums and won numerous awards, and it’s humbling to think it all began in a council flat in Deptford. We hope that their remarkable success serves as inspiration to a whole new generation of musicians". Mark Knopfler said: "I'm honoured and delighted that the birthplace of Dire Straits should be marked in this way in Deptford as part of London's history".
The photo of Dire Straits playing in front of the flat is an actual photo of that very first gig, 26th June 1977. Courtesy of Glenda Bogdanovs. Additional info from Glenda: the photo was taken during a local one day festival for local musicians. Dire Straits were on fairly early and the audience was very small. It didn't really swell until later in the afternoon when other local bands played. When David Knopfler saw this photo on Facebook, he wrote on 9th August 2010: "I'm trying to figure out where we'd tucked away our Fender Combos, because I didn't own that Marshall stack. And WEM columns in the PA system.. blimey! They were considered pretty bad even back in the 60s!" When someone asked David how many people turned out for that first gig and how many songs were played, David replied: "About 200 people I'd guess.. maybe more. Think we played for about an hour."
They also showed what appears to be an original advertisement poster for a Dire Straits gig in Deptford at the Albany Empire, 2nd July 1978:
2010 - Walk of Fame
Date: 22nd June 2010
Place: König-Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
During the Sailing to Philadelphia tour 2001 and the Kill to get crimson tour 2008, Mark Knopfler played at the Arena in Oberhausen.
During the Get Lucky tour 2010, Mark played again at the Arena. That afternoon, two men from the venue presented Mark with his Walk of Fame paving slab.
The König-Pilsener Arena and the paving slab which was placed in front of the arena:
2010 - APRS Sound Fellowship
Date: 16th November 2010
Place: Roof Gardens, Kensington, UK
The fourth annual APRS Sound Fellowship Lunch, hosted by Sir George and Lady Martin, sees the recognition of six new recipients of the APRS Sound Fellowship bestowed on individuals who made a "Significant contribution to the art, science or business of sound recording". Mark Knopfler was one of the people who got this recognition. Mark also became an honorary vice-president of the Tyne Theatre and Opera House Preservation Trust. Trust chairman Malcolm Dix said: “I had an exchange of text messages with Mark and I was delighted when he agreed to lend his name to the work we are doing to restore the Tyne Theatre and Opera House to its former glory."
The Tyne Theatre and Opera House of which Mark Knopfler became an honorary vice-president:
2011 - Der Steiger Award
Date: 12th March
Place: Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany
The Steiger Award or Der Steiger is an international award established in 2005 and presented annually by the award organization based in Bochum, Germany. The award was created by private initiative and is presented annually to individuals who are notable for accomplishments in charity, music, film, media, sports, the environment and building of the European community. Mark Knopfler won the award in the category Music. The award was handed to him by Klaus Meine, the voice of the Scorpions.
2012 - Portrait Mark Knopfler
Date: January 2012
Venue: British Grove Studios, London UK
Not really an award but great
recognition for sure!
In January 2012, contemporary artist Colin Davidson had the first sitting with Mark Knopfler at British Grove Studios for a portrait of Mark. Below some photos of the first sitting, sketch and final result which was published on Facebook in September 2012.
2012 - Ivor Novello Award
Date: 17th May 2012
Venue: Grosvenor House Hotel, London UK
The Ivor Novello Awards, named after the Cardiff born entertainer Ivor Novello, are awards for songwriting and composing. They are presented annually in London by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and were first introduced in 1955. The Ivors remain the only award ceremony in the musical calendar that is not influenced by publishers and record companies but judged and presented by the writing community. The award itself is a solid bronze sculpture of Euterpe, the Muse of lyric poetry. Mark Knopfler won an Ivor Novello Award at the 57th Annual Ivor Novello Awards, a well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.
On the right picture, Mark Knopfler and his wife Kitty Aldridge at the 2012 Ivor Novello awards.
2013 - Pro Sound Awards
Date: 19th September 2013
British Grove studios, owned by Mark Knopfler, won the Pro Sound Award in the category Studio of the year.
2014 - Tunnel of Love lyrics embedded in The Spanish City
Date: 7th April 2014
Venue: The Spanish City, Watts Road, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, UK
A new plaza has been built next to the Spanish City dome in Whitley Bay. Mark Knopfler has given his blessing to a new sea-side promenade. The Dire Straits front-man, who immortalised the former Spanish City funfair at Whitley Bay in his song Tunnel of love, gave North Tyneside Council permission to use his lyrics in its landmark scheme. The £1.2m development – which includes new paving, lighting and an ampitheatre – was officially opened on 7th April 2014 by Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell. An official plaque installed at the site gives thanks to Mark Knopfler for letting designers etch lyrics from his 1981 hit into granite stepping.
The plaza on the seafront at the Spanish City is officially opened by Alan Campbell:
"And girl it looks so pretty to me just, like it always did. Like the Spanish City to me, when we were kids." is the single line used from the song, repeated twice around the circle:
2015 - Bronze plaque
Date: 1st June 2015
Location: Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside Walk of Fame, UK
Nominated by the public, twenty
five of NewcastleGateshead’s most inspiring people from the past 60 years have
been honoured with a bronze plaque installed on one of the destination’s most
iconic visitor sites – the Quayside, for a Hollywood-style ‘walk of fame’. The
trail was opened in March 2014 by the wife of the late Sir Bobby Robson, Lady
Elsie Robson. The plaques are laid along the stretch of pavement from Baltic
Square to the Swing Bridge. Across the river, they continue along the Quayside
to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. Mark has written and composed many famous
songs including Going Home, the theme song for the movie Local Hero,
which has been played at Newcastle United F.C as their fanfare tune played at
the start of every home game.
A bronze plaque bearing Mark's name has been added to the Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside Walk of Fame in 2015. The Newcastle Quayside is an area along the banks of the River Tyne that was once an industrial area and busy dockside. It has been redeveloped to provide art, music and culture venues. Mark says: “To be voted a Local Hero by the people of Tyneside is a wonderful honour which I will treasure.”
2018 - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction
Date: 14th April 2018
Location: Public Auditorium & Conference Center, Cleveland, USA
Dire Straits is inducted into the famous Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Mark Knopfler showed no interest in this event without even releasing an official statement. An earlier comment from Mark on how he feels about a reunion can be found here. John Illsley in an interview to Billboard on 12th April 2018:
Dire Straits co-founder John
Illsley isn't planning to let the absence of frontman Mark Knopfler and other
band members sour his time at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions this
week in Cleveland.
"I'm excited, yes. We're going to have a good time," Illsley tell Billboard just before he and keyboardist Guy Fletcher boarded a flight to the U.S. on Thursday morning (Apr. 12). "I mean, some people play and some people don't. Some people turn up and some people don't, it seems. We've got a combination of all that."
Illsley did reveal that keyboardist Alan Clark's web site post that he, Illsley and Fletcher would perform "an unplugged version of 'Telegraph Road'" was not, in fact, true. "That's not going to happen," Illsley said. "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." Dire Straits has been dormant since 1992, after touring to promote its 1991 album On Every Street. So why is Knopfler -- whose brother and fellow guitarist David Knopfler also isn't coming -- a no-show? "He just didn't feel like coming, it's as simple as that," says Illsley, who co-owns the Dire Straits band name with Knopfler. "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." Illsley adds that a Dire Straits performance during Saturday's (Apr. 14) ceremony "would've been quite complicated. When you look at the structure of the band over the last 40 years it's been quite a mixed bag of musicians and people involved, and just trying to sort that out and make sense of it... (Knopfler) said, 'Look, I just can't deal with it. I don't really want to deal with it.' So I said, 'OK, I'll go over, accept the award on your behalf and all the rest of the guys that aren't there and that'll be it. So that's what's happening." Illsley noted that he does have "room in the case" to bring Knopfler's induction trophy back to England. He's also starting to accumulate items for the Rock Hall to exhibit in Cleveland, and he plans to make the best of the induction weekend. "I'm very proud of being inducted," he says. "I think it's fantastic for the band. I think it's fantastic for all the musicians who have worked with us over the years, who have been part of the journey... and all the producers and engineers we worked with over the years. And I think it's wonderful for all the people who bought the music and came to see the concerts and stuck with the band all these years. That to me is the most important side of it, so that's what I would like to acknowledge when I get there is the fans. They make everything happen."
In the end, John Illsley, Guy
Fletcher and Alan Clark were the only attending inducties.
Strangely enough, there was no one who actually inducted Dire Straits, so John felt that he, as the only founding member of Dire Straits out there, had to induct the band himself.
John Illsley in Cleveland:
John, Alan and Guy at the pre-show red carpet:
Alan, Guy and John at the ceremony:
here to a part of John's speech in which he specifically thanks
Dire Straits' management, Mark Knopfler and the fans.
Dire Straits exhibit at the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame. The accordion was used by Alan Clark on Brothers in arms:
Below the actual award of Pick Withers:
2018 - Living Legend Award
Date: 1st December 2018
Location: SEC, Glasgow, Scotland
The 20th SSE Scottish Music Awards ceremony took place at Glasgow’s SEC on Saturday December 1st. The SSE Scottish Music Awards honour the biggest and best in Scottish music whilst raising vital funds for Nordoff Robbins Scotland. Mark Knopfler was not be among those performing but attended the event and collected his award on stage. Mark was presented with a Living Legends Award sponsored by Raymond Weil watches. Mark Knopfler picked up the Living Legend Award, saying: “When I was a little fellow lying in bed not far from here listening to the music of the River Clyde, the noise of the fog horns and the ships, I used to absorb all the sounds of Scotland. A songwriter couldn’t ask to be born in a better place.”
Mark with the action winners
1991 Sony Radio Award
Date: 24th January 1991
Location: London, UK
The Sony Radio Academy Awards (the Sonys), started in 1983, are some of the most prestigious awards in the British radio industry. The categories for the awards are decided by an annual committee, with the aim to include all the main genres from contemporary music, news and speech through to radio drama, comedy and sport, and not discriminating against station size, or niche categories. In 1991, Charlie Gillett won the Gold Award for Outstanding Contribution. Charlie Gillett (20th February 1942 – 17th March 2010) was a British radio presenter, musicologist and writer, mainly on rock and roll and other forms of popular music. He was particularly noted for his influential book The Sound of the City, for his promotion of many forms of "world music", and for discovering and promoting such acts as Ian Dury and of course Dire Straits. Charlie Gillett had a program called Honky Tonk on Radio London between 1975 and 1978. On 31st July 1977, the demo version of Sultans of swing was broadcasted on his radio show which resulted in a record deal and Dire Straits becoming one of the biggest acts in the '80's and early '90's. So, this must have been a very nice moment for Mark Knopfler to present this award to Charlie.
Left to right: Prince Edward, Charlie Gillett and Mark Knopfler:
2006 - BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards
Date: 6th February
Venue: The Brewery , London, UK
The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards celebrate outstanding achievement during the previous year within the field of folk music. The awards have been given annually since 2000 by British radio station BBC Radio 2. The award winners are chosen by a panel of 120 experts in the field of folk and easy listening music, including broadcasters, journalists, festival organisers, agents and promoters. The award ceremony, which takes place early in February, has been presented since its inception by Mike Harding, and broadcast on BBC Radio 2. Mark Knopfler reminisced at length before presenting Richard Thompson with his Lifetime Achievement trophy: the ace songwriter/guitarist contributed an amusing award ceremony story concerning erstwhile label-mate Frank Sinatra, before taking the stage for an acoustic performance which perfectly illustrated his stark, poetic songwriting skills.
2008 - Brave Heart Award
Date: 21st May 2008
Venue: City Hall, Newcastle, UK
Brave Heart Awards are made to children who have shown incredible courage battling to overcome illness, handicap, or other adversities. All have received the holiday of a lifetime, the toy or computer of their dreams for example. Every year numerous awards are made. One of the striking features of all the children Brave Hearts has helped, is the fact that each of them sees nothing remarkable about their struggle to overcome adversity. Many of the children recognized by Brave Hearts were so ill that they have not survived their illnesses. During the Kill to get crimson tour in 2008, Mark Knopfler also played in Newcastle. Before the concert, Mark Knopfler presented the Brave Heart Award to a real local hero, a nine year old kid from Newcastle called Bradley Downes who had been battling cancer. A really great moment for this young man. Very sadly, Bradley passed away in March 2009.
2009 - MOJO Outstanding Contribution To Music award
Date: 11th June 2009
Venue: The Brewery, London, UK
The MOJO Awards (or Mojo Honours Lists) is an awards ceremony that began in 2004
by Mojo, a popular music magazine published monthly in the United Kingdom. The
awards feature a mixture of readers' and critics' awards.
Mark Knopfler has presented British guitar legend Joe Brown with the MOJO Outstanding Contribution To Music award at the 2009 MOJO Honours List ceremony.