Chris Difford and Mark Knopfler

The Dire Straits’ lead guitarist, singer and songwriter sits down with host Chris Difford 

For our penultimate episode of the fourth series of I Never Thought It Would Happen, we welcome Mark Knopfler to the show. Having enjoyed a long and distinguished career, Mark is recognised as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Dire Straits in 2018, a band that have sold over 100 million records worldwide.

During the episode, Mark reveals to Chris that seeing Chuck Berry perform at Newcastle City Hall when he was 15 years old gave him the bug to become a musician. He recalls Berry duckwalked across the stage that evening and jokes with Chris that a lot of the damage was done then” in terms of him pursuing music.

His early years in music took him from Newcastle to South London, where funnily enough he and Chris used to rehearse in adjacent studio spaces when they were both up and coming artists. The pair reflect on those youthful days in Deptford and speak about how transformed areas of London have become now. 

Their conversation moves to the music industry in general and one of Mark’s biggest frustrations is that many fantastic musicians he knows do not receive a better deal from the business. Mark is someone who loves music to his core but confesses does not completely understand or particularly like elements of the industry.

Chris also asks Mark about touring and whilst this was something that used to fill Mark with a great deal of joy in younger years, he has found it more difficult with age. He has turned his attention more to writing but one place you won’t find him writing music is the recording studio he owns, the esteemed British Grove Studios in Chiswick. Mark has always been keen for this to be purely a recording space and wants artists to be in there and feeling inspired.

This episode also features a contribution from Joe Baker, an electronic musician we have supported who uses the artist name Kreed. Joe reached out to us for help with releasing his debut album A Brief History in 2022.

Whilst the support to record and release the album was essential, what surprised Joe most about Help Musicians were the business advice sessions that came along. He learned many valuable skills in these sessions which will be incredibly useful as he aims to build a sustainable career in music.

We hope you enjoyed the penultimate episode of Series 4 of I Never Thought It Would Happen. If you would like to listen back to all the fantastic episodes from the previous 12 weeks, please subscribe by following the links provided below.

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