Music

Mark Knopfler Roped 60 Guitar Heroes For ‘Going Home’ Charity Single, Including Bruce Springsteen, Slash, Pete Townshend

Dire Straits guitarist/singer Mark Knopfler has assembled a “We Are the World”-style supergroup of legendary guitarists for a charity single whose proceeds will go to benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America. The 60-plus roster of six-string slingers includes Bruce Springsteen, Slash, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, Pete Townshend, Sting, Queen’s Brian May, Joan Jett and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

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The re-recording of Knoplfer’s meditative 1983 instrumental, “Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero,” also features Ringo Starr, Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Jeff Beck, in the guitar legend’s final recording before his death in Jan. 2023. The song from the group dubbed Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes was produced by former Dire Straits keyboardist Guy Fletcher and also features work from Sheryl Crow, Joan Armatrading, Journey’s Jonathan Cain, Tom Morello, Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa, former Squeeze member Paul Carrack, Keith Urban, Steve Cropper, Steve Vai, Vince Gill, Sam Fender, Sonny Landreth, Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor, the Eagles’ Joe Walsh, Albert Lee, Rush’s Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, Dave Mason, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Orianthi, Susan Tedeschi and Dereck Trucks and many more.

In a statement, Knopfler said, “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.”

Most of the artists on the song play guitar, except for Starr and son Zack Starkey, who play drums and Sting, who plays bass, while Who singer Roger Daltrey plays harmonica. “Local Hero” is due out on March 15.

The original song, Knopfler’s first solo single, appeared in the 1983 Scottish dramedy starring Peter Riegert, Peter Capaldi and Burt Lancaster; the soundtrack was written and produced by Knopfler. “Hero” has become a staple of Knopfler’s live show and is also played before every Newcastle United F.C. soccer game.

Check out a brief preview of the song (and see the full roster of participants) below.

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