Dire Straits guitarist John Illsley listed down his top five Dire Straits songs in an interview with VintageRock Pod. One of the songs he chose was ‘Romeo and Juliet’ from their ‘Making Moves’ album from 1980. The guitarist said why he likes this song and why he enjoys performing it live: “I chose this because, on the surface, it appears to be a very simple song.” But I’ve performed it with a lot of people, and now I have people in my band that really understand how it works. So it’s got a lot of subtleties in there that aren’t always clear to a lot of folks who hear it and tend to overlook the dynamic, the very subtle dynamic in that song.” John then described the type of song ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is, and he stated that he had no intention of understanding whether it was inspired by Mark Knopfler’s personal experiences: “Of course, it’s a love song, and it’s a frustrating love song, and I don’t even know, and I don’t really want to think about what Mark was going through at the time.” It could have been a reflection of where he was at the time. I knew a lot about him, but I didn’t know everything. So I’d guess it was either hypothetical or based on personal experience.
It makes no difference.” Illsley went on to say that when the song is performed live, it draws a lot of attention: “The truth is, when people hear that song, I can hear a murmur in the audience and they go, ‘Oh, yes.'” ‘This is something we really want to hear.'” In the same interview, John discussed how Mark and he felt when David Knopfler left the band, emphasizing how much it affected both him and David’s brother: “It was difficult in many ways to deal with that situation.” But, in some ways, the band didn’t have a choice. The only way for the band to move forward and do what it could truly do, which we did, was for David to leave. And it was a very sad day for me, as well as Mark, that it didn’t work out. But, you know, that’s life, and these things happen.” You can see the rest of the interview below, as well as listen to ‘Romeo and Juliet.’