Mark Knopflers Guitar Heroes Going Home UK by Sir Peter Blake
Image Credit: Sir Peter Blake

Star names join Mark Knopfler for special recording of iconic song to raise funds for cancer charities

Members of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dire Straits, The Who, Pink Floyd, Queen, Black Sabbath, The Shadows, Rush, Guns N’ Roses, and many more all appear on one track in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America.

Mark Knopfler has released a special recording of his Going Home (Theme From Local Hero), to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust and its American equivalent Teen Cancer America.

The track, which opens with Jeff Beck’s final recording and features artwork designed by Sir Peter Blake, is performed by Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes. Produced by his longtime collaborator Guy Fletcher, this version of Going Home (Theme From Local Hero) features an unprecedented line-up of some of the greatest guitarists in history, including:  David Gilmour, Ronnie Wood, Slash, Eric Clapton, Sting, Joan Armatrading, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Nile Rodgers, Joan Jett, Brian May, Tony Iommi, Joe Walsh, Sam Fender and many more.

Mark Knopfler holds signed guitar
Image © Terry Blackburn

Sterling Response

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. Sting completes an extraordinary rhythm section on bass.

“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.”

Listen to it here:

Local Hero

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.

Four signed Mark Knopfler guitars
Image © Terry Blackburn

Music History

Net proceeds will go to the charities. Leading guitar makers 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 four remaining guitars will benefit Teenage Cancer Trust.

In January, Knopfler sold his guitar collection at Christie’s for over £8M. Also offered for auction were exclusive items of music memorabilia – future coveted pieces of music history.

Physical formats of the single will be available on CD, 12″ and deluxe CD+BluRay. Digital formats include a Dolby Atmos mix.

Download the track here

The impressive list of contributors is completed by:

Richard Bennett, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Brown, James Burton, Jonathan Cain, Paul Carrack, Ry Cooder, Jim Cox, Steve Cropper, Sheryl Crow, Danny Cummings, Duane Eddy, Guy Fletcher, Peter Frampton, Audley Freed, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, Keiji Haino, John Jorgenson, Sonny Landreth, 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, Andy Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Ian Thomas, Keith Urban, Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Louis Walker and Glenn Worf, Zucchero.

Read More: The Who, Squeeze, Chemical Brothers and Paul Weller to play 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust Concerts