Why Vince Gill turned down an offer to join Dire Straits


Vince Gill was, by his own admission, a struggling artist before the years 1989 When I call your name.

Despite a handful of successful appearances in the late ’70s and early’ 80s with bands like Pure Prairie League, Cherry Bombs and David Grisham, Gill’s own albums had met with only moderate success. A light at the end of the tunnel came from Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, who called Gill with the prospect of working.

Knopfler was embarking on a world tour in the late 80s and wondered if Gill would like to join the group. “It would have solved any financial problems I had,” Gill said in a recent episode of Apple Music Country. I miss the country radio from the 90s with Nick Hoffman, “and I thought about it and I loved the way he played, I thought about it and I thought about it.”

At the time, Gill mainly supported herself through gigs of odds and ends. “I wasn’t making any real money,” Gill told Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett on the Walk on the ground podcast in 2018. “Session work kept me alive, jingles and things like that.”

Yet despite the lucrative salary that awaits him, Gill said he recognizes the utmost importance of finally turning down the job. “I thought, I said, ‘Dude, if you do that, it’s gonna be like throwing in the towel. You worked so hard to try to be a country artist of some validity, “” Gill told Hoffman. “And if you do that, in my mind that meant admitting failure – and that wasn’t really an option for me.

“So I called [Knopfler] and I said, ‘Look, I can’t believe I’m saying that, but I’m going to say no just because I think I have something to offer country music,’ ”Gill added. hadn’t recorded “When I call your name”, I don’t think so. It was not a success. I didn’t have it in my back pocket, nothing like that. I said, ‘Look, Mark, if I don’t believe in myself, nobody else will. How can I expect someone else to do it if I don’t? So I will unfortunately refuse that. ‘”

Gill then contributed backing vocals to “The Bug”, from Dire Straits’ 1991 album. In every street. Gill’s first country single followed in 1992 with “I Still Believe in You”. “I turned down the sure thing and bet on myself,” he later recalled, “and it just flipped right after that.”

Decades later, Gill found himself in another large-scale rock band, joining the Eagles in 2017 after guitarist Glenn Frey died.

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