Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes to release ‘Going Home (Theme from Local Hero)’ on March 15 featuring a rock line-up for the ages
Net proceeds from BMG to benefit Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America
Ionic Original Disc of the master recording privately sold by NeoFidelity Recordings enables the company to make a six-figure charitable donation
Available to preorder now here
LONDON (February 8, 2024) – On March 15, Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler will release a new, special recording of his anthemic composition, “Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)” featuring over 60 of the finest rock performers ever assembled on one iconic track, including members of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dire Straits, The Who, Pink Floyd, Queen, Black Sabbath, The Shadows, Rush, Guns N’ Roses, and many more. The milestone release, currently available for pre-order, will raise funds for Teen Cancer America and its UK equivalent Teenage Cancer Trust.
Performed by Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes, the track is produced by his long-time collaborator Guy Fletcher who has edited the contributions into an epic nine-minute piece. The track features an unprecedented line-up of some of the greatest guitarists in rock history including David Gilmour, Ronnie Wood, Slash, Eric Clapton, Sting, Joan Armatrading, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Nile Rodgers, Joe Walsh, Joan Jett, Brian May, Tony Iommi and many more jaw-dropping names. In a great honor, 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, alongside his son, Zak Starkey. Their two drum tracks switch 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 moment in rock music history.
Other participating artists include: Richard Bennett, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Brown, James Burton, Jonathan Cain, Paul Carrack, Ry Cooder, Jim Cox, Steve Cropper, Sheryl Crow, Danny Cummings, Duane Eddy, Sam Fender, Peter Frampton, Audley Freed, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, Keiji Haino, John Jorgenson, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Greg Leisz, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, Phil Manzanera, Dave Mason, Hank Marvin, Robbie McIntosh, John McLaughlin, Tom Morello, Rick Nielsen, Orianthi, Brad Paisley, Mike Rutherford, Joe Satriani, John Sebastian, Connor Selby, Slash, Andy Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Ian Thomas, Keith Urban, Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Louis Walker, Joe Walsh, Glenn Worf, and Zucchero.
“What I really want to do, more than anything else, is just to thank each and everyone for this sterling response,” said 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, it started with Townshend, Clapton and Albert Lee. Of the late Jeff Beck’s contribution, Guy Fletcher added, “It was absolutely meant to be. And what he did with it, it just brings you to tears.”
The feature film “Local Hero” was released in 1983 and starred Burt Lancaster. It was Knopfler’s first credit as a film composer and earned him a BAFTA nomination. Much to his delight, the track is played at every Newcastle United soccer match before the team takes the pitch.
Net proceeds will go to the two 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 U.S. for Teen Cancer America (the only U.S. charity to provide specialist support to adolescent and young adults with cancer), going for well into the six figures each. The four remaining guitars will benefit Teenage Cancer Trust, the only UK charity providing 13-24-year-olds diagnosed with cancer with age-appropriate specialist nursing care and support.
In January, Knopfler sold his guitar collection at Christie’s for close to $11.5M, with the Gibson Les Paul ‘Gold Top’ Standard, signed by many artists from the project, selling for over $513k. In lieu of taking a full commission on the sale, Christie’s has made a sizeable donation to both TCT and TCA.
One of the guitars earmarked for TCT 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 the 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.