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 HEROESproduced 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 Starkeytheir 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,” he 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,” he 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 takes 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 US charity to provide specialist support to adolescents 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 Trustthe only UK 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 UnitedEdit 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 UnitedEdit 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 Sextonand digital formats include a Dolby Atmos mix.
Full list of contributors:
Joe Louis Walker
Cancer kills more teenagers and young adults in the UK 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 lives.
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 which shall be shared equally with Teen Cancer America.
Images courtesy of The Outside Organization