Jack Sonni, Former Dire Straits Guitarist, Has Died at 68

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Jack Sonni, guitarist best known for his time as Dire Straits‘ rhythm guitarist in the 1980s, has died at the age of 68.

Dire Straits confirmed the news of Sonni’s death in a post on their social media yesterday (Aug. 31). “#JackSonni Rest In Peace,” they wrote, with a photo of the guitarist. The group also shared a link to a blog post about the guitarist, which included an interview that was conducted in 2010 about his life and time with the band.

Sonni met Dire Straits’ David Knopfler and Mark Knopfler in Manhattan in 1978 when he was working at Rudy’s Music. He joined one of the group’s recording sessions in 1984, where he contributed guitar work to the song “The Man’s Too Strong,” which was included on the 1985 album Brothers in Arms. Additionally, he went on tour with the group throughout the mid-’80s, and became affectionately known as “the other guitarist.”

“Do it for the love of playing and not for fame or wealth,” Sonni advised aspiring musicians during the interview. “So have fun above all. If you’re going to pursue a career in this business, learn your history. The lessons are all there. Endless tales of how newfound success and fame have ruined many careers and lives. How artists get ripped off by record companies and managers. Pay attention. It’s a business, first and foremost. Treat it like one and you’ll do fine. And songwriting is where the money is so get cracking on those hits!”

Various musicians who played with Dire Straits throughout the band’s career have played in recent years as Dire Straits Legacy, and Sonni has performed with the lineup. They’re set to head out on a U.S. tour later this year, however, earlier this week they shared a post on Facebook, writing that Sonni would not be able to take part in the tour due to health problems.

READ MORE: The 75 Best Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time

“Our beloved Jack has left a void in our heart and soul… We will miss you so much, you are forever with us,” the group wrote on the page yesterday.

We send our condolences to Sonni’s loved ones, bandmates and fans. Rest In Peace.

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