Dire Straits' Guitarist Jack Sonni Passes at 68

Loss of a legend sparks widespread online condolences.

by Nouman Rasool
Dire Straits' Guitarist Jack Sonni Passes at 68
© localbandreview/YouTube

Jack Sonni, celebrated as Dire Straits' "unsung guitarist," passed away on Wednesday at the age of 68. Dire Straits released an announcement on the social media platform X (previously known as Twitter), alongside a poignant black-and-white image of the talented guitarist.

Sonni's renown skyrocketed when he played for the group's monumental "Brothers in Arms" album and accompanying tour. The official post read: “#JackSonni Rest In Peace. #DireStraits”. The exact cause of the music icon’s passing remains undisclosed.

Notably, a preceding message on the Dire Straits Legacy site, maintained by past band members, had mentioned Sonni's deteriorating health, stating, “Dear fans, Jack Sonni, due to health issues, won't join us for upcoming performances.

Jack, we hope for your speedy recovery! With love, the DSL family”.

Fans Mourn Sonni on Social Media

The news has led to an outpouring of tributes on social media. One user commented, “It’s heart-wrenching.

He was just a decade my senior”. Another shared their personal experience: “I had the privilege to work alongside Jack. While our interactions were brief, it was evident he was a gem, as echoed by many”. Memories from a past concert also resurfaced, with a fan noting, “Can't forget watching Jack perform at Wembley in ‘85.

May his soul rest in peace”. Sonni's Facebook page is now filled with hundreds of condolences and remembrances. Attempts to contact Sonni's representatives for statements have been made by The Post. Originating from Indiana, a town in western Pennsylvania, Sonni's tryst with music began early.

By his own admission, “Music has been a constant in my life”. Growing up in a household where his mother played the piano and his father enjoyed Sinatra, country, and early rock n roll, Sonni took to the guitar, piano, and trumpet passionately.

By the age of 8, the guitar had become an extension of him, and he said he “never put it down”. His musical journey saw him playing at church gatherings, coffeehouses, school dances, and eventually leading to music school.

His reminiscences include: “After my music school graduation, I joined a local band, playing everything from jazz to Top 40 hits”. In the late '70s, Sonni's relocation to New York proved pivotal. While working at Rudy’s Music Stop, he crossed paths with Dire Straits co-founders, David and Mark Knopfler.

His association with the band began in 1984 when he was roped in to play the guitar synthesizer for “The Man’s Too Strong,” a track from their fifth album, “Brothers in Arms”. He continued touring with the band until 1986.

However, in 1988, Sonni made the personal choice to leave Dire Straits to pursue a career in marketing and advertising, emphasizing, “It was time to focus on raising my twin daughters”.