Ted and the anti gun movement


In the aftermath of the horrific Slaughter of sixteen school kids and their teacher in Dunblane Primary School, Ted conceived the idea of a protest song against Britain's liberal gun laws. With full backing of the Dunblane parents, he recorded a cd with children from the town and a band of local musicians.. The lead song on this was a version of Bob Dylan's “Knockin' on Heaven's Door on which Ted had changed some of the words. This was the first (and only) time Dylan had allowed anyone to alter his lyrics. Thanks Bob!

Abbey Road Studios supplied their facilities free of charge and Mark Knopfler played guitar on the track. Invaluable assistance was given by so many people and , thanks to them and the British public it went straight to no. 1 selling 673,000 copies.(platinum)

playing a significant part in persuading our government to totally ban handguns.

As Ted says:

“Sometimes people find the song morbid but that is usually because they don't fully understand it. Yes, it is a very sad song about a tragic event but it was a very positive reaction to a circumstance no one should find themselves in. It raised over half a million pounds for childrens' charities, it focussed public attention on a preventable disaster that could have happened anywhere, but, most important of all we had a load of fun recording and promoting it and it enabled a lot of kids and families in Dunblane to smile again for the first time in many months”

With grateful thanks to Geoff Baker (without whom etc.), Martin, Collette, Peter and the others at Abbey Road, Mark Knopfler and The Notting Hillbillies, Jack Price, Jack Bruce, Tommy Millar ( a fine musician and soulmate through it all), every single person that bought it, and not least all the Dunblane musicians who played.

Most of all thanks to a wonderful bunch of kids for every laugh and tear and allowing me to be a part of THEIR number 1.

BBC DOCUMENTARY - From the series "Real Lives Reunited".

The campaigners who helped bring about a law banning handguns in Britain after the Dunblane tragedy meet once more.



Throw These Guns Away

Since the success of the single, Ted has been an active supporter of the anti-gun movement throughout the world. He and some of the Dunblane dads went to Tasmania to support the families of victims of the shootings at Port Arthur. He recorded a song called " Hearts Across The Sea" which featured both kids from Dunblane and the chidren of The Rozny Choir from Tasmania. This song will be on the new album.
In May 2000 Bannockburn made the journey across the Atlantic- this time with some of the Dunblane mums-  to America's first  national anti-gun rally the Millionmommarch. This was on The Mall in Washington DC and drew the biggest crowd since the Anti Vietnam War protests. 750,000 people turned up. It was also live on TV coast to coast. Ted had been asked to open and close the day with "Throw These Guns Away" which they had adopted as their anthem. Not many of todays superstars have played to an audience that size.
 In 2005 Ted was in Turkey to support David Grimason whose two year old son Alistair was shot dead while sleeping in his pushchair in a cafe there. David's wife Oslem is Turkish and the family have started campaigning for some sanity in Turkeys gun laws. David and a Turkish musician "Nico" have recorded a version of "Throw These Guns Away" in Turkish.


Images from the Millionmommarch, America's first anti gun rally.


Millionmommarch 2000 - LOOOOK at all these people!

Actress Susan Sarandon was one of the speakers at the rally. Ted and drummer John McAvoy with Reese Witherspoon The picture that made Ted's father-in-law Jim Macgowan green with envy :- Ted getting a cuddle from Wonderwoman Linda Carter.
Roseanne Cash (Johnny's daughter) came along with her family to the previous night's gig at Planet Hollywood. Lovely people. Kind of surreal performing with Bette Midler standing watching in the wings. Takes a while to sink in when she says "That was awesome guys!" One of the great things about this business is getting to meet legends. This is Emmylou Harris.

See also film of this event. CLICK HERE


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