Dire Straits may have pulled off a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction first: They inducted themselves.
With the absence of Mark and David Knopfler, Dire Straits didn’t perform at their Rock Hall induction, and they also didn’t have a presenter either.
Enter John Illsley who did the induction honors for the band he co-founded.
As for how that moment came about, Illsley had this to say in the press room afterward:
“I decided it this morning. I was talking to Alex, who’s running the show here. We didn’t have anybody to induct us for all sorts of reasons. So I said, ‘Would it be crazy if I did it?’ And he said, ‘What a great idea.’ I sort of wrote it about 15 minutes before we came down, so that why I had to read it out because I couldn’t remember what I had written down.”
Illsley was joined by Alan Clark and Guy Fletcher at the podium, with Fletcher recalling a story from his school days.
“I was having an interview with the careers officer, careers master, really, and he asked me what I wanted to do for a job when I left school. Naturally, I said I wanted to be a musician. He laughed. He actually laughed out loud, and he hadn’t even heard me play. Music just wasn’t on the agenda at school, let alone rock and roll music. So the idea of being on this stage holding this [award] is not something I seriously believed would happen.”
Clark noting a particular sentiment that was shared by nearly every inductee, but he may have said it best:
“We musicians, we lead charmed lives. We love what we do, and what we do makes lots of people happy. And t his band has made lots of people happy. So this award is for everyone we’ve made happy.”
The 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony airs May 5 at 8 PM EST/PST on HBO.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.