60 Guitar Heroes Going Home

There are few songs or pieces of music, that have the power and durability to stay with us for the rest of our life from the very first moment we hear them. I have written about my personal music jewels in a post here . One such song is definitely Going Home by Mark Knopfler and his band Dire Straits. It is from the movie Local Hero. I have heard it for the first time in a fantastic concert at the very western tip of the continental Europe, in a Portuguese town of Cascais. Since that moment, the song stayed in my life and every time I hear it, it evokes a very positive and special emotions. 

From that very first encounter, I was happy whenever I could listen to the song and haven’t done much research into it. So I didn’t know, that the song has become quite popular among fans of English football/soccer, and it has been played everytime when Mark Knopfler’s hometown club Newcastle United runs out before every home game. 

To my utmost surprise I have learned, that jus t a couple weeks ago, on March 15, 2024, there has been released a new recording of the song. And what a recording it is!

Recordings like this don’t happen by accident – in fact, there must be a really good reason for that. And the very good reason for putting together this truly supergroup, referred to as Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes, was – to support cancer charities the Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America. It is hard to imagine, how it was even possible to put together more than sixty (60!!!) musicians on this one song. Especially if most of them are the crème-de-la-crème of the rock guitar, of the last about fifty years. 

This was the very last recording of Jeff Beck before his death. But there are many other legends like Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, David Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, Phil Manzanera, Brian May, John McLaughlin, Nile Rogers, Mike Rutherford, Joe Satriani, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Star, Sting, Andy Taylor, Pete Townshend, Keith Urban, Steve Vai, Ronnie Wood, or Zucchero, and many others. 

Obviously, that many musicians would be really hard to squeeze into a 4 minutes footprint of a typical song. So I was curious, how would that work even in this ten minutes recording. Fortunately, I was not disapointed.

The main person behind this was the producer Guy Fletcher, who used to play keyboards in the Dire Straits, and who has continued to work with Mark Knopfler ever since. And he has done an outstanding job giving every participating musician a few seconds, that characterize their personal music style, and still support the overall atmosphere of the music. 

The song video supports and complements music in a way, which sometimes feels like a music quiz – first guessing who is the musician playing at the moment, soon gettting revealed by flashing their names on the screen. It is partly entertaining and also partly educational, and very well done. 

Because of its length, I don’t think this song has a chance to break any music charts. But in its entirety it is a great music and a significant occasion for a whole generation of musicians. The generation that is slowly disappearing.

Only a few weeks after releasing the Going Home song, Mark Knopfler has released his tenth solo album called One Deep River. From the marketing point of view, this is a very good step, when piggybacking on the hightened media interest. Anyway, the album contains great music. It is a typical Mark Knopfler’s laid back music. Twelve songs plus some bonus tracks. This is music, one would expect from a musician in his seventies, who has seen and done it all. He still feels he has something to say, and does it in his typical way. No surprises, no need to prove anything. Just sit and enjoy!

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