8 Feb 2024
Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes charity single
Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes
‘Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)’
March 15th on BMG
Over 60 of the finest performers ever assembled on one iconic track
A Landmark of Rock Music
Artwork by Sir Peter Blake
In aid of:
Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America
On 15 March 2024, Mark Knopfler will release a new, special recording of his anthemic ‘Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)’, to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust and its American equivalent Teen Cancer America.
Performed by Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes, produced by his longtime collaborator Guy Fletcher (who has edited the contributions into a nine-minute piece), the track features an unprecedented line-up of some of the greatest guitarists in history. ‘Legendary’ does not begin to cover it – David Gilmour to Ronnie Wood, Slash to Eric Clapton, Sting to Joan Armatrading, Bruce Springsteen to Pete Townshend, Nile Rodgers to Joan Jett, Brian May to Tony Iommi, Sam Fender and many more jaw dropping names.
And, in a great honour, the track opens with Jeff Beck’s final recording.
Roger Daltrey, Teenage Cancer Trust’s Honorary Patron and co-founder of Teen Cancer America (with Pete Townshend), added harmonica, and Beatles icon Ringo Starr is on drums along with his son Zak Starkey, their two drum tracks switching from one to the other, revealing an unmistakable family style. Sting completes an extraordinary rhythm section on bass.
With artwork designed by Sir Peter Blake (The Beatles, The Who, Band Aid, Paul Weller etc), this release is a landmark in rock music history.
“What I really want to do, more than anything else, is just to thank each and every one for this sterling response,” says Mark Knopfler, “I really had no idea that it was going to be like this. It hit Guy and I quite early on that we had to extend this piece somehow, to take in the number of people who joined in.
“Before I knew where I was, Pete Townshend had come into my studio armed with a guitar and an amp. And that first Pete power chord…man, I tell you. We were in that territory, and it was just fantastic. And it went on from there. Eric [Clapton] came in, played great, just one tasty lick after another. Then Jeff Beck’s contribution arrived and that was spellbinding. I think what we’ve had is an embarrassment of riches, really. The whole thing was a high point.”
Recorded at British Grove Studios, in West London, often with the great musicians in person, sometimes sent from their own studios around the world, it started with Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton and Albert Lee.
“It was absolutely meant to be,” says Guy Fletcher of the late Jeff Beck’s contribution, “And what he did with it, it just brings you to tears.”
Full list of contributors:
Joan Armatrading, Jeff Beck, Richard Bennett, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Brown, James Burton, Jonathan Cain, Paul Carrack, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Jim Cox, Steve Cropper, Sheryl Crow, Danny Cummings, Roger Daltrey, Duane Eddy, Sam Fender, Guy Fletcher, Peter Frampton, Audley Freed, Vince Gill, David Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Keiji Haino, Tony Iommi, Joan Jett, John Jorgenson, Mark Knopfler, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Greg Leisz, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, Phil Manzanera, Dave Mason, Hank Marvin, Brian May, Robbie McIntosh, John McLaughlin, Tom Morello, Rick Nielsen, Orianthi, Brad Paisley, Nile Rodgers, Mike Rutherford, Joe Satriani, John Sebastian, Connor Selby, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Zak Starkey, Sting, Andy Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Ian Thomas, Pete Townshend, Keith Urban, Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Louis Walker, Joe Walsh, Ronnie Wood, Glenn Worf, Zucchero.
The film Local Hero was released in 1983 and starred Burt Lancaster. It was Mark Knopfler’s first credit as a film composer and earned him a BAFTA nomination. Much to Mark’s delight, the track is played at every Newcastle United game before the team take the pitch.
Net proceeds will go to the charities and the project has been further supported by leading guitar makers, who have donated a total of eight guitars to be signed by the contributing artists. Four of the eight have already been sold in the US for Teen Cancer America – the only U.S charity to provide specialist support to adolescent and young adults with cancer. This was in October 2022, before several of the most high profile and rarest autographs were added to the four remaining guitars that will benefit Teenage Cancer Trust, the only UK charity providing 13- to 24-year-olds who are diagnosed with cancer, with age-appropriate specialist nursing care and support.
In January, Knopfler sold his guitar collection at Christie’s for over £8M, with the Gibson Les Paul ‘Gold Top’ Standard, signed by many artists from the project, selling for over £403,000. Also offered for auction were exclusive items of music memorabilia – future coveted pieces of music history.
One of the guitars earmarked for Teenage Cancer Trust will be auctioned off by Knopfler at a private donor event in Newcastle on the evening of March 1, prior to Newcastle United taking the pitch on March 2 versus Wolverhampton Wanderers. A number of artists who performed on the song will attend the match, where a sneak peak of a portion of the song will be played for Newcastle United fans as the players enter the stadium.
In addition – an Ionic Original Disc of the master recording has been privately sold by NeoFidelity Recordings in advance of the single’s release, enabling that company to make a six-figure donation to the charity. Ionic Original Discs are a new vinyl format, promising the highest fidelity sound and durability ever on an analogue record.
Physical formats of the single will be available on CD, 12” with etched b-side and deluxe CD+BluRay, including sleeve notes by Paul Sexton, and digital formats include a Dolby Atmos mix.
12″ Vinyl Single
CD and Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos mix
Cancer kills more teenagers and young adults in the UK and US than any other disease. For those who survive, going through it without the right support can be devastating – physically and emotionally. It can be harder to get a diagnosis, cancer treatments can be less effective for young people, and accessing clinical trials can be harder. Teen Cancer America and Teenage Cancer Trust fund specialist nurses and youth workers to be there for a young person when cancer has turned their world upside down and to help make sure cancer doesn’t rob young people of the best years of their life.
A minimum of 50% of net proceeds received by BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited from the sale of this recording (with a minimum of £1 per CD single solely embodying the recording sold in the UK and a minimum of 25p per download of the recording sold in the UK) will be given to Teenage Cancer Trust (registered charity in England and Wales under charity no. 1062559) which shall be shared equally with Teen Cancer America (501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization tax id 46-0825676).
Teenage Cancer Trust is a registered charity: 1062559 (England & Wales), SC039757 (Scotland).