Mark Knopfler Set to Release Supergroup Track Featuring Nearly 60 Guitar Heroes, Rock Stars and Country Legends

Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler is set to release a new recording of his 1983 “Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero” featuring nearly 60 top artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Sting, Joan Jett, Ronnie Wood and more, according to reports.

The 9-minute song, which will arrive March 15, opens with the final recording by Jeff Beck, the influential rock guitarist who died last year. The song, Knopfler’s first solo single, was featured in the 1983 Peter Riegert and Burt Lancester film “Local Hero,” for which he also composed and performed the score.

The “We Are the World” style effort is a fundraiser for Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America, the report said.

“Cancer is different when you are younger: it can be harder to get a diagnosis, cancer treatments can be less effective for young people, and accessing clinical trials can be harder,” said a statement on Knopfler’s YouTube channel.

British pop artist Sir Peter Blake, famed for his work on The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover along with the cover for Band-Aid’s “Do They Know its Christmas” and the Live Aid concert poster, designed the Sgt. Pepper-like cover.

Pre-orders for the 12-inch vinyl recording are already sold out, as is the BluRay disc. The single can be pre-ordered online for 99 cents. Guitar makers also donated eight guitars to be signed by the participating artists, The Independent reported, with one going to a March 1 live auction featuring Knopfler.

The Who’s Who of virtuosos, which is billed as Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes, features masters from a number of genres, from singer songwriter Joan Armatrading to country star Keith Urban and from blues legend Buddy Guy to Queen’s Brian May.

Also performing on the song: Richard Bennett, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Brown, James Burton, Jonathan Cain, Paul Carrack, Ry Cooder, Jim Cox, Steve Cropper, Sheryl Crow, Danny Cummings, Duane Eddy, Sam Fender, Peter Frampton, Audley Freed, Vince Gill, David Gilmour, Keiji Haino, John Jorgenson, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Greg Leisz, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, Phil Manzanera, Dave Mason, Hank Marvin, Robbie McIntosh, John McLaughlin, Tom Morello, Rick Neilsen, Orianthi, Brad Paisley, Nile Rogers, Mike Rutherford, Joe Satriani, John Sebastian, Connor Selby, Slash, Andy Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Ian Thomas, Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Louis Walker, Joe Walsh, Glenn Worf and Zucchero.

Former Dire Straits keyboardist Guy Fletcher produced the track, which also features Ringo Starr and his son Zack Starkey on drums and Roger Daltrey on harmonica. Sting plays bass.

“What I really want to do, more than anything else, is just to thank each and every one for this sterling response,” Knopfler said in a statement. “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.”

Some of the supergroup’s participants submitted their parts after recording them remotely, but most of the musicians recorded at West London’s British Grove Studios. Townshend, Clapton and Albert Lee were the first artists to lay down their parts.

“Before I knew where I was, Pete Townshend had come into my studio armed with a guitar and an amp,” Knopfler said. “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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