During participation in Brian Johnson’s (AC / DC) “Life on the Road” program, guitarist and vocalist Mark Knopfler spoke about Dire Straits’ biggest hit, the song that catapulted the band to fame and stardom, “Sultans of Swing “, released on the 1978 debut album.
“‘Sultans of Swing’ actually happened in a small pub where there was a slightly sloppy jazz band that was playing for an audience of practically nobody, except for some dripping cats, and I went in there to have a few beers (apparently, it was raining a lot). At the end of the night, the trumpeter or someone else took the microphone and said “Well, ok … that’s it, time to go home.” And then he says “We are the Sultans of Swing ‘But look, you are certainly not the Sultan of anything being there in that band, that night, in that pub (laughs) “.
Interestingly, in 2018, Mark had revealed to Music Radar that despite the resounding success of “Sultans of Swing”, he did not immediately make money from the classic song: “Success probably came quickly by most people’s standards, but I felt who had worked his whole life for it. I was 28 when ‘Sultans’ exploded, we still lived in Deptford, and as was common in contracts at that time, they didn’t give you money until 18 months, I think that is still the case today. So music was at the top of the charts all over the world but it would still take me a long time to see the color of the money. Then the contracts were renegotiated for something more fair, that’s how things work.
Source: Ultimate Guitar