Watch a group of Afghan girls sing Won't Back Down aided by Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit and more

The Miraculous Love Kids playing in a wood
(Image credit: Lanny Cordola)

Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh and bass player Timothy B. Schmit have hooked up with former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum, plus country singer Blake Shelton, to record a version of Tom Petty's Won't Back Down with a group of girls who've escaped Taliban rule in Afghanistan and are currently living as refugees in Pakistan. 

The girls are beneficiaries of the work of The Miraculous Love Kids, a nonprofit organisation set up by former Giuffria, House of Lords and Magdallan guitarist Lanny Cordola. Cordola first visited Afghanistan in the wake of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Kabul, when multiple embassies were attacked by Taliban suicide bombers, and returned months later to open a guitar school for street children in the city.

"The plan is to make this an entity where they can travel the world, play music, tell the story about their lives and the people of Afghanistan," Cordola told The BBC in 2016. "And then to collaborate with other girls with similar backgrounds, with kids from different parts of the world and turn it into an international, global phenomenon."

"In I Won't Back Down, Tom Petty so powerfully wrote, 'You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down.'", says Cordola. "The girls and I are honoured to have Blake, Joe, Timothy and Matt join us in spreading this message far and wide."

"May music always bring you girls the inspiration and connection to a higher power that delivers you strength and joy," says Walsh. "I'm grateful to have shared this moment with you all. Peace and love."

"Lanny is a saint for being a part of these girls' lives by helping them move forward through music," adds Schmit. "Even after all they've experienced in their young lives, you can see and feel their beautiful life forces shining through."

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.