ON LOCATION TOUR 1980 - 1981


Tour line-up:

Mark Knopfler

Guitar, vocals
John Illsley

Bass, vocals

Pick Withers


Hal Lindes

Guitar, vocals

Alan Clark

Keyboards / piano


On 17th October 1980, Dire Straits released their third album Making movies. During the recording of the album, David Knopfler left the band. For the upcoming tour, two new band members were added: Hal Lindes and Alan Clark. They rehearsed between 8th September and 14th October at Whood Wharf (Greenwich, London) and the Roxy Theatre (London) to start their world tour a few days later. Roy Bittan appeared as a guest player on the second night in Los Angeles.

On 10th June 1980, while rehearsing for the later recordings of the album Making Movies, Mark Knopfler and Pick Withers joined their old pals during a Cafe Racers reunion at the Royal Exchange Pub, Camden Town, London, UK. Click here for another picture of that reunion.

Late at night on 8th December 1980, John Lennon was shot dead. From then on Mark dedicated the song News to him. I also read on Facebook that Dire Straits actually played Imagine in Newcastle after the assassination.

Click here for a nice picture of Mark Knopfler during a soundcheck of the tour. And here for another soundcheck picture, taken on 20th December 1980 in Dortmund.

In January 1981, Dire Straits would play in The Netherlands and Belgium. Sadly, all 8 shows in The Netherlands and 4 shows in Belgium were cancelled due to the situation of Pick Withers' wife who gave birth to their baby too early. See these various Dutch newpaper articles (1, 2, 3) and also a poster of the cancelled concert in Nijmegen. Only half of the shows could be re scheduled in June and July.


Advertisement poster for the tour: 


Official recordings made during this tour

Concert Bootleg release Official release
Dortmund (19.12.1980)
Paris (18.06.1981)
Brussels (05.07.1981)

Total concerts played: 114

October 1980

  22.10.1980     Commodore Vancouver Canada
  23.10.1980     Showbox Seattle USA
  24.10.1980     State University Portland USA
  26.10.1980     Old Waldorf San Francisco USA
  27.10.1980     Old Waldorf San Francisco USA
  28.10.1980     Roxy Los Angeles USA
  29.10.1980     Roxy Los Angeles USA

November 1980

  02.11.1980     Agora Dallas USA
  03.11.1980     Armadillo Austin USA
  04.11.1980     Agora Houston USA
  05.11.1980     Saenger Performing Arts Center New Orleans USA
  06.11.1980     LSU Union Theater Baton Rouge USA
  07.11.1980     Brothers Music Hall Birmingham USA
  08.11.1980     The Agora Ballroom Atlanta USA
  09.11.1980     Exit Inn Nashville USA
  11.11.1980     Bayou Washington USA
  12.11.1980     Emerald City Philadelphia USA
  13.11.1980     Stage West Hartford USA
  14.11.1980     Beacon Theatre New York USA
  15.11.1980     Capitol Theatre Passaic USA
  16.11.1980     Berklee Performance Centre Boston USA
  18.11.1980     Agora Cleveland USA
  19.11.1980     Royal Oak Detroit USA
  20.11.1980     Park West Chicago USA
  21.11.1980     Park West Chicago USA
  23.11.1980     Massey Hall Toronto Canada

December 1980

  01.12.1980     Victoria Hall Hanley UK
  02.12.1980     Apollo Manchester UK
  03.12.1980     Apollo Manchester UK
  04.12.1980     City Hall Sheffield UK
  05.12.1980     City Hall Sheffield UK
  06.12.1980     Apollo Glasgow Scotland
  07.12.1980     The Capitol Aberdeen Scotland
  08.12.1980     Playhouse Edinburg Scotland
  09.12.1980     City Hall Newcastle UK
  10.12.1980     City Hall Newcastle UK
  12.12.1980     University Lancaster UK
  13.12.1980     University Leeds UK
  14.12.1980     Odeon Birmingham UK
  15.12.1980     Odeon Birmingham UK
  16.12.1980     Assembly Rooms Derby UK
  17.12.1980     Gaumont Theatre Ipswitch UK
  18.12.1980     Gaumont Theatre Southampton UK
  19.12.1980     Rockpop, Westfahlenhalle Dortmund Germany
  20.12.1980     Westfahlenhalle Dortmund Germany
  22.12.1980     Rainbow Theatre London UK
  23.12.1980     Rainbow Theatre London UK
  24.12.1980     Rainbow Theatre London UK

January 1981

  01.01.1981     Stadium Dublin Ireland
  02.01.1981     City Hall Cork Ireland
  03.01.1981     Leisureland Galway Ireland
  05.01.1981     Ulster Hall Belfast Northern Ireland
  06.01.1981     Ulster Hall Belfast Northern Ireland

March 1981

  22.03.1981     Entertainment Centre Perth Australia
  25.03.1981     Palais Theatre Melbourne Australia
  26.03.1981     Palais Theatre Melbourne Australia
  27.03.1981     Palais Theatre Melbourne Australia
  28.03.1981     Palais Theatre Melbourne Australia
  29.03.1981     Palais Theatre Melbourne Australia
  30.03.1981     Festival Theatre Adelaide Australia
  31.03.1981     Festival Theatre Adelaide Australia

April 1981

  01.04.1981     Festival Theatre Adelaide Australia
  02.04.1981     Festival Theatre Adelaide Australia
  04.04.1981     Regent Theatre Sydney Australia
  05.04.1981     Regent Theatre Sydney Australia
  06.04.1981     Regent Theatre Sydney Australia
  07.04.1981     Regent Theatre Sydney Australia
  08.04.1981     Regent Theatre Sydney Australia
  09.04.1981     Regent Theatre Sydney Australia
  10.04.1981     Festival Hall Brisbane Australia
  11.04.1981     Festival Hall Brisbane Australia
  15.04.1981     Western Springs Auckland New Zealand

May 1981

  05.05.1981     Rhein-Main-Halle Wiesbaden Germany
  06.05.1981     Rhein-Main-Halle Wiesbaden Germany
  07.05.1981     Rhein-Neckar-Halle Heidelberg Germany
  08.05.1981     Freiheitshalle Hof Germany
  09.05.1981     Hemmerleinhalle Nürnberg Germany
  10.05.1981     Tauber Franken Halle Würzburg Germany
  12.05.1981     Olympiahalle Munich Germany
  13.05.1981     Messehalle Stuttgart Germany
  14.05.1981     Sporthalle Cologne Germany
  15.05.1981     Philipshalle Dusseldorf Germany
  16.05.1981     Grugahalle Essen Germany
  18.05.1981     Eissporthalle Kassel Germany
  19.05.1981     Niedersachsenhalle Hanover Germany
  20.05.1981     Eissporthalle Berlin Germany
  21.05.1981     CCH Hamburg Germany
  22.05.1981     CCH Hamburg Germany
  24.05.1981     Randershalle Randers Denmark
  25.05.1981     Forum Copenhagen Denmark
  26.05.1981     Gröna Lund Stockholm Sweden
  28.05.1981     Drammenshallen Drammen Norway
  29.05.1981     Scandinavium Gothenburg Sweden
  31.05.1981     UKK Hall Helsinki Finland

June 1981

  01.06.1981     Ukki Hall Helsinki Finland
  13.06.1981     Rodahal Kerkrade The Netherlands
  14.06.1981     Jaap Edenhal Amsterdam The Netherlands
  15.06.1981     De Doelen Rotterdam The Netherlands
  16.06.1981     Rijnhal Arnhem The Netherlands
  17.06.1981     Palais des Sports Paris France
  18.06.1981     Palais des Sports Paris France
  20.06.1981     Hallenstadion Zürich Switserland
  21.06.1981     Patinoire des Vernets Geneva Switserland
  23.06.1981     Palais des Sports Bordeaux France
  25.06.1981     Palais des Sports Lyon France
  26.06.1981     Théâtre Antique Orange France
  27.06.1981     Stadio Comunale San Remo Italy
  28.06.1981     Stadio Comunale Carrara Italy
  29.06.1981     Vigorelli Milan Italy
  30.06.1981     Anstistadio Bologna Italy

July 1981

  01.07.1981     Stadio Comunale Turin Italy
  04.07.1981     Festival Torhout Belgium
  05.07.1981     Werchter Festival Brussels Belgium
  06.07.1981     Centre Sportif Differdange Luxembourg


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