Mark Knopfler and Jeff Beck were planning an album together before Beck died

“I’m really sorry we didn’t get to work together,” Knopfler laments.

[L-R] Mark Knopfler and Jeff Beck

Credit: Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images [L], Lionel FLUSIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images [R]

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Before Jeff Beck died in January last year, he was planning on working on an album with Mark Knopfler, the former Dire Straits guitarist reveals in a new interview.

Speaking to Guitar Player, Knopfler says, “Jeff was just something other, y’know? In fact, we’d just begun some talks, through management, about doing an album together. I’m really sorry we didn’t get to work together.”

However, Beck and Knopfler did get to work together, in one sense, on Knopfler’s charity single Going Home (Theme From Local Hero). The track features some of the world’s biggest guitarists – Steve Vai, Slash, Joe Bonamassa and Eric Clapton among them – and Beck contributes to the opening of the track. In fact, it was the last thing the legend recorded before he died from bacterial meningitis in January 2023 aged 78.

However, they never actually worked together in the same room on Going Home, with Knopfler explaining that Beck recorded his parts elsewhere, saying, “Jeff Beck had recorded something at his place which was so beautiful.”

It’s clear that Knopfler is full of admiration for Beck, describing his parts on Going Home as “spellbinding” upon its release. Meanwhile, Guy Fletcher, Knopfler’s long-time collaborator who was also involved in the track, said of Beck’s contributions, “​​It was absolutely meant to be. And what he did with it, it just brings you to tears.”

Knopfler also discussed the other guitarists on the song, saying, “Then David Gilmour came over, and everyone was playing great, and I was really knocked out. I thought, this is fantastic! And then all the stuff was coming on from America: Joe Bonamassa, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai… Different people, fantastic guitar playing, coming in from all sides. I came in one day and Bruce Springsteen was all over it.”

If you haven’t listened to Going Home, which was released in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America, you can do so here:

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