You Say It's Your Birthday: Dire Straits' David Knopfler

No, that's not Dire Straits, silly. Its also the birthday of Kiss' Peter Criss.

Today is the birthday of Dire Straits guitarist David

Knopfler, born in 1951 in Glasgow, Scotland. One of the strongest and most

talented bands to be born out of the 1970s' guitar-driven rock revolution, Dire

Straits' success floated on the virtuosity of its lead guitarist and vocalist

Mark Knopfler.

The group began in the Knopfler household, where Mark and

David learned guitar in their teens. Mark became a music critic for the

Yorkshire Evening Post, then taught at Loughton College and played

guitar in several South London pub bands. Meanwhile, although David had become

a social worker, the two brothers often got together and jammed. David's

roommate, John Illsley, was a bassist and played frequently with the Knopflers.

The trio began recording songs, including an early version of "Sultans of

Swing"; a friend of theirs played that song on a BBC radio show, and, as they

say, the rest is histroy: a record deal, an opening spot on the Talking Heads'

1978 tour, world-wide success...

Dire Straits's first (self-titled) album

was released in 1979, featuring the studio version of what is still their

most-recognized song, "Sultans of Swing." Communique was recorded the

following year, though some said it sounded exactly like the band's debut.

Making Movies followed in 1980; during the recording sessions, however,

David left the group to be replaxed by E Street Band keyboardist Roy Bittan.

The band subsequently released several popular albums, including 1982's

Love Over Gold and 1985's Brothers In Arms, which included the

smash single "Money For Nothing."

Dire Straits disbanded in 1988, but

reformed to record 1991's On Every Street. While Mark has enjoyed

success with solo efforts, including several music soundtracks, David has kept

a lower profile. Other birthdays: Mike Pinder (Moody Blues), Mick Jones (Spooky

Tooth/Foreigner), Larry Byrom (Steppenwolf), Terry Bozzio (Missing Persons),

Youth (Killing Joke) and Peter Criss (Kiss). -- Beth Winegarner