On March 13, 1996 a man armed with four handguns and 743 rounds of ammunition walked into a school gymnasium in Dunblane, Scotland, and without warning opened fire on Gwen Mayor and her kindergarten class. Within 3 to 4 minutes Mrs. Mayor and 16 children were killed, and 17 other children and teachers were wounded.
The Government report on the massacre recommended tightening the gun control laws, but stopped short of an outright ban on guns favored by many.
Dunblane musician Ted Christopher wrote a new verse for Knockin'On Heaven's Door in memory of the Dunblane school children and their teacher, and in protest of the Government's refusal to ban all handguns.
Lord these guns have caused too much painBob Dylan agreed to the addition of the new verse, something he has rarely done before. The revised version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door, which included surviving school children singing chorus and Mark Knopfler on guitar, was released on December 9th in the U.K. The proceeds are to go to three charities for children.
This town will never be the same
So, for the bairns of Dunblane,
We ask, please, never again.
The official Website of Dunblane Against Guns is at X http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/angus_fairfax/dunbl2.htm X [link now fails, please e-mail correct link if you know it Archival Copy] and for those outside the U.K. the CD single may be ordered via e-mail.
A Reuters article provides more of the story of the Dunblane CD.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Craig Jamieson)
Subject: Dunblane - purchasing the CD
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 96 14:54:16 +0000
I know all collectors will want a copy or two, and some abroad tell me it is not easy to purchase in some countries. For anyone who wants to buy it from outside the UK simply e-mail
and ask for Angus. Tell him Ed sent you! ;-)
If you don't know the story, stop by Dunblane Against Guns at X http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/angus_fairfax/dunbl2.htm X [link now fails, please e-mail correct link if you know it] and fill yourself in.
I realise opinions vary on the campaign, on the added verse and on the performance, but such a unique event as an authorised addition by another hand to a Bob Dylan composition is most unusual. Hard to imagine anyone not buying this one.
Even I bought one. A Sony CD or a shiny new boot is always sweeter if it is given rather than purchased, but then even I don't wheedle a free copy of a CD whose proceeds go to Save The Children, Childline and the Children's Hospice Association.
I know many collectors make certain they purchase benefit and charity recordings at the time they are available because they inevitably turn up on boots or pirate compilations or as fillers on later CDs which contain other tracks they want. The ethics of such a purchase are rather embarrassing if you neglected to buy the original. Boot buyers believe to live outside the law you must be honest and then try to.
If you don't have a copy yet at least drop an enquiry in to Angus today. These CD singles do not stay in stock forever.
Oddly I am sitting by the wood stove in a fine farm house not far from Aberfoyle in Canada. A beautiful field stone house built by Scottish stone masons. And chatting to neighbours in this farming community about the Dunblane CD it took me by surprise when they mentioned that the thing that strikes them about the CD is the surnames of the children to whom the CD is dedicated. Many of those surnames are familiar names among the settlers of this community. Far away but not so far away...