Features and specs of a ’61 Vintage Stratocaster

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Mark Knopfler’s “Sultans” Strat (ser.-no. #68354) is from 1961. The second red Fender Strat he played with Dire Straits ( #80470) was from about the same period (apart from the question in how far it was original Fender at all). For this reason I put together a table to give you a survey about the distinctive features that are different on a 1961 Strat compared  with earlier or later Strats. […]


The King of Clean – Mark Knopfler’s Tone King Imperial amp – Hand-built vintage technology and sound

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Everyone who has seen Mark Knopfler live on one of his recent tours might have notived that cool-looking turquoise combo amp next to Knopfler’s Marshall cabinets. Knopfler’s second guitarist Richard Bennet also plays one. It is the Tone King Imperial. Tone King amps are built from selected quality parts by Mark Bartel in Baltimore. Mark does all the woodworking, upholstery, and electronics assembly himself to have total control about the […]

Dire Straits/ Mark Knopfler live pictures and videos

Rare video of Brendan Crocker gig featuring Mark Knopfler

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Today while surfing youtube I found this rare video which I have never seen before, showing Mark Knopfler as a guest on a Brendan Crocker gig in Leeds, June 18, 1989 (the youtube video title says July 18, June 18 is confirmed and I doubt that there was a second gig one month later). For those who don’t know him, Brendan Crocker is an old friend of Mark’s, also a […]

MK guitar style and licks

Rasgueado and other flamenco techniques in Sultans of Swing

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Sultans of Swing from Dire Straits’  first album is surely one of THE songs that comes to mind when talking about fingerstyle guitar playing. In addition to Mark Knopfler’s unique playing style it also features some striking Spanish-sounding elements, starting from the chord  progression itself to some flamenco-like strumming techniques – which is this blog article, or rather the embedded video, is about. The typical flamenco stroke is called Rasgueado […]