Mark Knopfler has recruited over 60 rock icons to feature on a single for Teenage Cancer Trust, titled ‘Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero’.
Set to arrive on March 15, the song sees the Dire Straits frontman and guitarist team up with legendary guitarists including Bruce Springsteen, Queen’s Brian May, Rolling Stone’s Ronnie Wood and Guns N’ Roses’ Slash in a bid to raise money for the charity.
The song will be a new version of his 1983 instrumental ‘Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero’ – originally written for the film Local Hero and starring Burt Lancaster. The song marked Knopfler’s first credit as a film composer and earned him a BAFTA nomination. In recent times, the song is famously played at every Newcastle United game before the team take to the pitch.
Others recruited for the 2024 charity re-recording are Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, The Who’s Pete Townshend, Joan Jett, Nile Rogers, Joe Bonamassa, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Toto’s Steve Lukather and Hank Marvin.
Sam Fender will also contribute to the single, alongside Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, Steve Vai, Keith Urban, Eagles’ Joe Walsh, Rush’s Alex Liveson and Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor. Impressively, it will also feature the final recording by late guitar legend Jeff Beck.
While the vast majority of contributors for the track are guitarists, others set to star include Beatles legend Ringo Starr and his son Zak Starkey, who will play drums, Sting on the bass and Roger Daltrey on the Harmonica. The latter of which recently stepped down as the curator for the Teenager Cancer Trust gigs.
The supergroup are going by the name Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes, and the song was produced by former Dire Straits keyboardist, Guy Fletcher.
You can check out a 15-second teaser of the upcoming charity single below and pre-order it here.
“What I really want to do, more than anything else, is just to thank each and every one for this sterling response. I really had no idea that it was going to be like this,” said Knopfler in a press release.
“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. The whole thing was a high point.”
Funds raised by the single will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust, and the project has been further supported by leading guitar makers, who have donated a total of 8 guitars to be signed by the contributing artists. Half have already been sold in the US for Teen Cancer America – the only US charity to provide specialist support to adolescents and young adults with cancer.
Check out the artwork for the single above, created by Sir Peter Blake and depicting every musician in front of Hank’s guitar store on London’s Denmark Street.