The QT

Saturday 15 June 2024

A new Local Hero

Mark Knopfler assembles incredible supergroup for charity release
Mark Knopflers Guitar Heroes Going Home (Theme from Local Hero) will benefit Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer in the US

Mark Knopfler has always been someone who has done more than his bit for causes he cares about.

But the former Dire Straits frontman is outdoing himself in 2024.

It might only be February, but the 74-year-old has already raised upwards of £2m for charities selected to benefit from last week’s sale of more than 120 guitars, amps and associated music-making equipment at Christie’s in London.

And now he’s only gone and assembled a supergroup to knock all supergroups into a cocked hat for his latest fundraising project.

Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes. Artwork by Sir Peter Blake

They’re calling themselves Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes and they’ve come together to record a new version of his iconic track, Going Home (Theme from Local Hero) to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer in the US. It will be released on March 15.

Produced by Mark’s longtime collaborator, Guy Fletcher, the list of music legends who are pooling their talents for the song is, frankly ridiculous.

Bruce Springsteen, Ronnie Wood, Ringo Starr, David Gilmour, Slash, Ronnie Wood, Roger Daltrey, Joan Armatrading, Eric Clapton, Joan Jett, Pete Townshend, Sheryl Crow, Brian May, Nile Rodgers and fellow Geordies Sting , Sam Fender and Hank Marvin are among more than 60 musicians who are involved.

And if that wasn’t enough, the record will also feature the final recording by the late Jeff Beck as well as artwork by none other than Sir Peter Blake, who has designed some of the most iconic pop/rock music artwork in history including the album cover for The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Live Aid poster.

Music legends have come together on a new charity recording of Going Home (Theme from Local Hero)

Newcastle United fans (and those who travel to support Wolverhampton Wanderers) will get a preview of the new recording ahead of the match on March 2, with a to-be-confirmed group of some of the musicians who have played on the track in attendance.

The night before (Mar 1), a guitar will be auctioned off at a private donor event in Newcastle in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Mark said: “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. 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.”


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