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Dire Straits to perform at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony minus three core members

John Illsley, Mark Knopfler, Pick Withers & David Knopfler in 1979 © REX/Shutterstock

Three members of Dire Straits will perform with Stevie Wonder at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction later this month.

In a post on his official website, keyboardist Alan Clark, who was in the group from 1980 to 1995, said that he will be performing ‘Telegraph Road’ with bassist John Illsley and keyboardist/guitarist Guy Fletcher at the annual music industry back-patting event with Motown legend Stevie Wonder taking on vocal duties.

However, band co-founders Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler and Pick Withers – three of the six eligible Dire Straits members - seemingly won’t be present.

Alan Clark wrote: “Next week, I'll be in Cleveland, Ohio being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fame at last! While it's nice to receive recognition for my work, I really can't take it seriously. That said, I've bought a new tuxedo and my signature now ends with the words ‘LIVING LEGEND’.

“There's a lot of conjecture on forums about whether the band is performing at the Hall of Fame, and if not why not, and who in the band are going to the ceremony.

“Well, here it is and it's official: Myself, Guy Fletcher and John Illsley will attend the ceremony where we'll be performing an unplugged version of Telegraph Road, with me on harmonium, Guy on ukulele, John on banjo, and the vocal sung by Stevie Wonder.”

Mark Knopfler and Pick Withers haven’t publically commented on their (apparent lack of) attendance but taking to Facebook yesterday David Knopfler says he’s not flying to Cleveland as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ‘reneged on their promise’ to pay his expenses.

Asked by a fan why he’s not going, David wrote: “In their wisdom after promising to pay my expenses they reneged on their promise.

“I can well understand that with only $5 mil a year in sponsorships and 100k a table and no fees for the artist that paying my taxi to the airport must have given them heart murmurs like Squeers hearing Oliver Twist asking for more and frightened them into refusal otherwise one might get the wrong idea entirely about what they’re all about.”

Dire Straits, Bon Jovi, The Cars, The Moody Blues and Nina Simone will all be inducted at the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday 14th April in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Class of 2018 Inductees were chosen by more than 900 voters, as well as the aggregate results of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s online fan vote.

Nominated artists who missed out on the final cut include Judas Priest, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, The Zombies, Link Wray, MC5, Rage Against The Machine and The J. Geils Band.

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