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Mark Knopfler Shearer 3 credit Terry Blackburn

Members of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Queen unite for Teenage Cancer Trust charity single

15 March 2024, 16:59 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) has released a special recording of his track, "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 Heroes, produced by his longtime collaborator Guy Fletcher, the track features an unprecedented line-up of some of the greatest guitarists in history, from 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 and many more. The track also 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' own Ringo Starr is on drums along with his son Zak Starkey, their two drum tracks switching from one to the other, revealing an unmistakable family style. Sting completes the rhythm section on bass.

Net proceeds will go to the charities 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.

Mark Knopfler and club legend Alan Shearer took part in a Q&A on stage at the club and an auction raised a further £110,000 for the charities. Mark also visited the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle, to meet young people who are being supported by the charity, and to speak to staff.

“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, 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.”

The charity edition of "Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)" is out now.

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