John Illsley

John Illsley is a founding member of Dire Straits. The bass guitarist has had a remarkable journey since 1977, selling over 120 million albums and picking up a few Grammys on the way, as well as an Ivor Novello award in 1988 for “Outstanding contribution to British Music”. John has also released eight solo studio albums and two live albums. His latest studio album, V111, was released in 2022.

John took a temporary break from music in 1993 and since then has involved himself in his other great passion, painting. Now established as a professional painter, he has gone on to have five solo shows in London, one in New York and one in Sydney.


Brothers in Arms

Song by Dire Straits

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I’ve witnessed your suffering
As the battle raged high
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms


Painting and hand-signed scratchplate by John Illsley.
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Together Through Art & Music


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