Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler assembles guitar heroes supergroup for Local Hero remake

8 February 2024, 14:29

Local Hero – original movie trailer

By Mayer Nissim

The Teenage Cancer Trust brings out the big guns.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler is maybe as well known for his soundtrack work as he is his rock classics.

His first score was for 1983 movie Local Hero, and its closing track 'Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero' later became a staple of both Dire Straits and Knopfler's solo live sets.

Knopfler has now assembled a supergroup made up of fellow guitar heroes – as well as a powerhouse rhythm section – to remake 'Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero' for Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America.

The very special single is released on March 15, and will be available on CD, 12” and deluxe CD+BluRay, as well as digitally.

Money will also be raised by the auction of eight guitars from iconic manufacturers signed by some of the contributing artists.

Mark Knopfler in concert in 2019
Mark Knopfler in concert in 2019. Picture: Getty Images

Father-son duo Ringo Starr and Zak Starkey play on drums, while Sting provides the bass. Other players include Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Roger Daltrey, Duane Eddy, Sam Fender, Peter Frampton, Dave Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Tony Iommi, Joan Jett, Hank Marvin, Brian May, Nile Rodgers, Mike Rutherford, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Andy Taylor and Pete Townshend, as well as opening with a contribution from the late Jeff Beck recorded before he died.

"What I really want to do, more than anything else, is just to thank each and every one for this sterling response," Mark said.

Local Hero (1983)
Local Hero (1983). Picture: Alamy

"I really had no idea that it was going to be like this. It hit Guy [Fletcher] 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."

He continued: "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.

Mark Knopfler - Going Home (Theme Of The Local Hero | Official Video)

"I think what we've had is an embarrassment of riches, really. The whole thing was a high point."

'Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero' has been adopted as an anthem by Newcastle United Football Club, where the song is played before every home game.

Newcastle United defender Dan Burn said: "'Local Hero' has been a song that I've listened to all my life and means so much to me on so many levels, whether as a fan or player.

Mark Knopfler's Guitar Heroes - Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero
Mark Knopfler's Guitar Heroes - Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero. Picture: Sir Peter Blake

"When I was young my dad used to play 'Local Hero' at breakfast and it instantly made me think of St. James' Park and the excitement of going to games.

"Whenever I hear the song it has so many memories, from seeing huge wins and European nights under Sir Bobby Robson to now, being able to walk out to the iconic anthem is a 'pinch me' moment every time.

"I know what this song means to people in the region and everybody will be buzzing to hear the version."

Local Hero (Stadium Version) - Newcastle Entrance Song

The full list of contributors is (deep breath): Joan Armatrading, Jeff Beck, Richard Bennett, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Brown, James Burton, Jonathan Cain, Paul Carrack, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Jim Cox, Steve Cropper, Sheryl Crow, Danny Cummings, Roger Daltrey, Duane Eddy, Sam Fender, Guy Fletcher, Peter Frampton, Audley Freed, Vince Gill, David Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Keiji Haino, Tony Iommi, Joan Jett, John Jorgenson, Mark Knopfler, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Greg Leisz, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather...

... and Phil Manzanera, Dave Mason, Hank Marvin, Brian May, Robbie McIntosh, John McLaughlin, Tom Morello, Rick Nielsen, Orianthi, Brad Paisley, Nile Rodgers, Mike Rutherford, Joe Satriani, John Sebastian, Connor Selby, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Zak Starkey, Sting, Andy Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Ian Thomas, Pete Townshend, Keith Urban, Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel.

The sleeve has been designed by pop art icon and Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band designer Peter Blake, whose collage shows all the contributors in front of Hank’s guitar store in London’s Denmark Street.

Last Played Songs