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John Illsley & Mark Knopfler to Star in Guitar Stories

John Illsley & Mark Knopfler to Star in Guitar Stories -

Musician and co-founder of Dire Straits, John Illsley takes long time friend, collaborator, and one of the world's greatest guitarists, Mark Knopfler, on a personal journey. Exploring his unique musical biography, Mark chooses his six favourite guitars and how they defined his music and career.

Knopfler's 60min story begins in his hometown of Newcastle and the shop where his dad bought his first guitar, the Hoffner Super Solid and ends in New York, where Rudy Pensa's famous Pensa guitar originates and Long Island where John Montelione's renowned workshop resides.

Knopfler shows Ilsley where he learnt to play his National Steel Resonator with legendary
British blues guitarist Steve Phillips, made famous by Dire Straits 'Brothers In Arms' album cover. Knopfler treats viewers to the infamous riffs on his beloved National of 'Romeo and Juliet' and even joins Steve Phillips for a set at his local. The journey concludes with Knopfler and Illsley performing together once again in New York.

Illsley says:

"What started out as a simple chat about guitarists and the choices they make, turned into the programme 'Guitar Stories'. The guitar is probably the most played instrument in the world and the one that dominates so many different genres of music. I have always been fascinated by the relationship between the player, the instrument, and their music and in this first programme we follow my great mate, Mark Knopfler. on a journey from Newcastle to the workshop of John Montelione in Long Island as he chooses his 6 favourite guitars."

Vadim Jean, the director of Guitar Stories said:

"One of the really special things about this film for me is that John (Illsley) coaxes insights and stories we've never heard before from one of the true guitar greats. To have been there as he did that is one of the highlights of my career. I still get chills thinking about Mark talking about the musical roots of 'Romeo & Juliet' and then playing it kind of just for us but now for everyone else to see too."

Managing director of Red Arrow UK said:

"We loved the idea of Guitar Stories as soon as John pitched it to us. Using great musicians' favourite guitars as a mechanism to explore their career allows us to understand so much more about their life and work. Added to that is the bonus of having John as a really wonderful and natural interviewer and storyteller. We love the resulting film and look forward to making many more 'Guitar Stories' in the future."

Guitar Stories is a Mob Film Company production in association with Red Arrow Entertainment for Sky Arts. It is produced by Tom Barbour-Might and directed by Vadim Jean. The Executive Producers are James Baker and Ian Sharples and Jonathan Rothery for Sky.

The Mob Film Company is part of the Red Arrow group of production companies. Red Arrow is backed by Pro7Sat1 Group and has built a series of investments with production companies in the UK, Europe and the US. Sales and distribution for Guitar Stories is being managed by Red Arrow International.

Guitar Stories will premiere on Sky Arts and Sky Arts HD, 16th October 2012 at 10pm.  


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