On April 14th, several bands were finally inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. This was the 33rd annual event for the museum, and some of the bands included were Bon Jovi, The Cars, and 1970’s/1980’s rock giant Dire Straits. It launched with a speech by Howard Stern, and tributes to late musicians Chris Cornell and Tom Petty ensued.
Stern then introduced Bon Jovi. Jon Bon Jovi, the band’s lead musician and vocalist, gave a lengthy speech; other members of the band followed soon after. Bon Jovi played some of their hit songs, and The Cars finished out the ceremony later on with speeches and several of their songs.
Among others, Nina Simone, Rosetta Tharpe, and the Moody Blues also received recognition and were admitted; Tharpe and Simone were celebrated by tribute covers.
However, in between the performance of Bon Jovi and The Cars was the enlistment of Dire Straits into the Hall of Fame. Unlike the others, which had been headed by a celebrity before their speeches and performance, Dire Straits did not have an extremely well-known figure representing them. It is thought to be a result of the refusal to attend or even publicly address the band’s success by the former group’s lead singer and guitarist, Mark Knopfler.
The drummer for Dire Straits did the same in way of not attending or acknowledging their achievement, and Mark’s brother David Knopfler also did not show due to unpaid expenses on part of the Hall of Fame. As a result, John Illsley -- the bassist -- presented himself as the spokesman for Dire Straits during the gathering.
Succeeding a ten-minute speech from the three present members of Dire Straits, they did not perform any of their hit songs, an anomaly among the other bands and musicians, all of which either performed or received a tribute performance.
Knopfler, out of his refusal to address the induction in public, has not given any justification as to why he did not attend the ceremony.
Illsley said that he did not come due to personal reasons, and that everyone should “just leave it at that,” and that Knopfler has “got his reasons, which he really doesn’t want to share with me, which is unusual because we’ve shared most things over the years.”