Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mark Knopfler, Discovering 'Shangri-La'

Ray Kroc, Sonny Liston and Elvis were just a few of the folks on Mark Knopfler's mind as he composed his latest CD.
Ray Kroc, Sonny Liston and Elvis were just a few of the folks on Mark Knopfler's mind as he composed his latest CD.
After achieving fame as the frontman for Dire Straits, Knopfler has pursued a solo career.
/
/
After achieving fame as the frontman for Dire Straits, Knopfler has pursued a solo career.

Singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler spent months recuperating from a motorcycle accident two years ago, before he could write songs again or return to the studio. Knopfler tells Liane Hansen about his recovery and his CD Shangri-La.

Knopfler is of course known for his work as the frontman for the '80s group Dire Straits. This time out, he performs what he calls musical "portraits," including "Back to Tupelo," a lament about the end of Elvis Presley's career, and "Song for Sonny Liston," a tribute to the legendary boxer.

The album's first single, "Boom, Like That," is a wry chronicle of the renegade business tactics of McDonald's mogul Ray Kroc. Kroc started out selling milkshake mixers to the McDonald brothers, eventually buying them out and aggressively expanding the franchise. Before composing the song, Knopfler read books about Kroc's life and business philosophy. The singer found inspiration in some quotes that were attributed to Kroc. He says, "I remember coming across a quote in a book. It was something like, 'If the opposition is going to drown, put a hose in their mouth.'"

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.
More from Hawai‘i Public Radio