Former Dire Straits Guitarist Jack Sonni Passes Away at 68

by Madonna

Indiana, Pennsylvania – The music world mourns the loss of Jack Sonni, the former guitarist for the iconic band Dire Straits, who passed away at the age of 68. Sonni’s guitar work left an indelible mark on the music industry, particularly during the band’s acclaimed Brothers in Arms tour.

Jack Sonni’s passing came as a shock to fans and fellow musicians, as former members of the renowned 1980s British rock band embarked on a tour across Europe, North America, and South America under the moniker “Dire Straits Legacy” (DSL). Sadly, Sonni had to withdraw from the tour due to health issues, and his passing was announced just two days later.


Although Jack Sonni may be best known as “the other guitarist” during Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms world tour, where he became famous for wearing an iconic red coat, his contributions to the band’s sound were invaluable.


Following the birth of his daughters, Sonni officially retired from the music scene in 1988. He later reemerged when he joined Dire Straits Legacy several years after the band had formed. In addition to his musical pursuits, Sonni hosted a radio program in his final years, showcasing his enduring passion for the art form.


Sonni’s musical journey began in Indiana, Pennsylvania, where he was born. He developed a deep love for music at a young age and learned to play multiple instruments. In a 2010 interview with the Norwegian Fan Club, he reflected on his musical journey, stating, “My first instrument was the piano at age 8. Then I played trumpet for three years before finally getting my first guitar when I was 14. Once I picked it up, I never put it down.”

In pursuit of his music career, Sonni relocated to New York in 1977. Over the next decade, he actively performed at various gigs and honed his craft. His path intersected with Mark Knopfler, the lead vocalist and guitarist of Dire Straits, whom he met while working at a guitar shop. This fortuitous meeting led to Sonni joining the band during their Brothers in Arms tour.

Together with the other band members, they embarked on a remarkable journey, performing 248 shows in 23 countries in 1985 to promote their groundbreaking “Brothers in Arms” album. The album achieved massive success, topping charts in countries around the world, including the United States and Australia, and selling over 30 million copies worldwide.

Jack Sonni’s contributions to Dire Straits’ iconic sound will forever be cherished by music enthusiasts. His legacy as a talented guitarist and musician will live on through his timeless work with the band.


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