Thursday, January 08, 2009

John Illsley: Little Bowden's rock star

I live in Market Harborough. Well, Little Bowden, actually.

And it seems that the village has a claim to fame in that it was the childhood home of John Illsley, the bass player with Dire Straits. As the Leicester Bands website tells it:
John was born in Leicester in June 24, 1949. He spent five years in the city before his father accepted the post of Westminster Bank deputy manager in Market Harborough and the family moved to Shrewsbury Avenue, Little Bowden.
In lyrical mode, the website reports:

In the scarred world of rock ’n’ roll, harrowing childhoods are worn like a badge on the sleeve.

Not by John Illsley, the son of a bank manager who grew up in a quiet corner of Market Harborough hugged by picturesque south Leicestershire countryside. The man who sold more than 118 million albums with Dire Straits has fond memories of his childhood: especially golden summer holidays spent fishing for sticklebacks in the grandly-named River Jordan, which flowed by the bottom of his garden.

The local geography does not quite add up: Shrewbury Avenue is a posh unadopted road on top of the hill (which shows what an important figure a bank manager was in those days). The River Jordan, naturally, flows down in the valley where peasants like me live.

Still it is a pleasing fact to know, even if Dire Straits was never one of my favourite bands.


Anonymous said...

pop into the pub in Brixworth and ask him.

Anonymous said...

I've read it's been rated on of the top 50 pubs in the UK! Good on you, John!