Jack Sonni, Dire Straits guitarist, dies at 68

  • Nicknamed ‘The Other Guitarist’, the musician passed away at the age of 68; he knows more about his career with the band led by Mark Knopfler

The rock band Dire Straits announced this Friday the death of Jack Sonni, guitarist of the formation led by the virtuoso Mark Knopfler.

“Jack Sonni, rest in peace,” the group soberly wrote on the X social network to announce the death of their second guitarist.

Born in Pennsylvania in December 1954, John Thomas Sonni was working at Rudy’s, a famous New York guitar store, in the late 1970s, when he became friends with Knopfler, who had just created Dire Straits in London.

The group achieved sudden and intense fame with the song Sultans of Swings, their most emblematic title, where clear and rhythmic chords reverberate in a chorus and cascading guitar solos tinged with blues.

Sonni joined the band in the mid-1980s to replace guitarist Hal Lindes on the recording of Brothers in Arms, an album that relaunched the band with the song Money for Nothing, their biggest commercial hit broadcast on loop on the MTV music channel.

A breakneck world tour and participation in the cult Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium in 1985 to raise money against the famine in Ethiopia followed.

According to the specialized press, “the other guitarist” of Dire Straits, a nickname he did not deny, died on Wednesday at the age of 68.