MARK KNOPFLER Enlists TONY IOMMI, BRIAN MAY, ALEX LIFESON, SLASH And Others For New Version Of 'Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)'

February 8, 2024

On March 15, 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 lineup 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, Joe Walsh, Sam Fender and many more jaw-dropping names. And, 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 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),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 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."

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 U.S. 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 U.K. charity providing 13-24-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 £8 million, 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-inch single with etched b-side and deluxe CD+BluRay, including sleeve notes by Paul Sexton, and digital formats include a Dolby Atmos mix.

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
Brad Paisley
Nile Rodgers
Mike Rutherford
Joe Satriani
John Sebastian
Connor Selby
Bruce Springsteen
Ringo Starr
Zak Starkey
Andy Taylor
Susan Tedeschi
Derek Trucks
Ian Thomas
Pete Townshend
Keith Urban
Steve Vai
Waddy Wachtel
Joe Louis Walker
Joe Walsh
Ronnie Wood
Glenn Worf

Cancer kills more teenagers and young adults in the U.K. than any other disease. For those who survive, going through it without the right support can be devastating – physically and emotionally.

Cancer is different when you are younger: It can be harder to get a diagnosis, cancer treatments can be less effective for young people, and accessing clinical trials can be harder.

Teenage Cancer Trust funds 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 U.K. and a minimum of 25p per download of the recording sold in the U.K.) will be given to Teenage Cancer Trust which shall be shared equally with Teen Cancer America.

Images courtesy of The Outside Organisation

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