John Illsley biography

John Illsley

Blues rock, Musical Artist

1949 –


Who is John Illsley?

John Edward Illsley is an English musician who rose to fame as the bass guitarist of the critically acclaimed rock band Dire Straits. With Dire Straits, Illsley has been the recipient of multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards and a Heritage Award.

As one of the founding band members, with brothers and guitarists David and Mark Knopfler, and drummer Pick Withers, Illsley played a role in the development of Dire Straits' sound. When David Knopfler left the band in the early 1980s, Illsley not only lost a bandmate, but also a former roommate and good friend. By the time the group disbanded in 1995, with changes in personnel, Illsley and frontman Mark Knopfler were the only two original band members remaining.

Illsley has kept a low-key profile about his own abilities as a musician and songwriter. He produced two albums of his own with Mark Knopfler as a guest musician, and has helped with Knopfler's personal projects and charities. He released two more albums, with influence from the Celtic-based band Cunla.


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Jun 24, 1949
Also known as
  • Illsley, John
  • United Kingdom
  • University of London

on July 23, 2013

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