THE WHO's PETE TOWNSHEND Releases Music Video For First Solo Single In 29 Years, 'Can't Outrun The Truth'

March 24, 2023

THE WHO guitarist Pete Townshend has released "Can't Outrun The Truth", his first solo single in 29 years. The official music video for the track, directed by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, can be seen below.

"Can't Outrun The Truth" was composed and produced by Pete's wife Rachel Fuller under her nom de plume Charlie Pepper, and all proceeds from vinyl sales plus at least 10p from every download will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The song was inspired by the difficulties everyone had encountered emotionally due to the lack of human interaction caused by the pandemic. It also occurred to Rachel that young people undergoing cancer treatment may identify with these feelings of isolation.

Fuller states about the genesis of the song: "We'd just moved house, and Pete was as happy as Larry up in his studio, working every day, and I put my back out, I was just climbing the walls, I couldn't do any creative work and obviously, we couldn't go anywhere. And I really started to think about how unbelievably difficult this period of time was going to be for so many people. I wrote lyrics and then I sat at the piano and wrote the music, and then I thought, 'Oh, I really would like to record it,' because it's really not a bad song at all — and my singing days are long over. So, I asked Pete to record the demo."

Townshend says: "I've helped Rachel make the demos for several of her theatrical projects. She's a really a fast worker. It's not that you say to me, let's go into the studio for two weeks and work on this project. We do it two hours later, or an hour later, it's done. So it's easy to work with her."

"Can't Outrun The Truth" was recorded in Pete's home studio in September of 2021, with Pete playing lap steel guitar and violin and singing. Once it was recorded, the pair decided to release the track and raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Townshend says: "The pandemic years were terrible for charities. The Teenage Cancer Trust was created in order to take the money from a series of concerts at the Albert Hall every year and various other things and that had all dropped out. So, the idea of doing this, which is it's something that has sprung out of lockdown about mental illness, but also for this particular charity. If you've got a scenario in which somebody in your family or a teenager has got cancer, they're being treated, lockdown hits, and you're not allowed to go and visit them. There's a poignancy to the whole thing about the song."

Rachel and Pete reached out to renowned British artist Damien Hirst to create an artwork for the track. The result is a unique one-off spin painting of Townshend, which adorns the sleeve of 200 12-inch singles of "Can't Outrun The Truth" (which also features Pete's solo classic "Let My Love Open The Door" on the B side). Pete has also signed each of the singles which are destined to become instant collector's pieces. The 12-inch singles will be available exclusively to fans in attendance at the Teenage Cancer Trust shows at the Royal Albert Hall from March 21 to March 26.

Not only is "Can't Outrun The Truth" Townshend's first solo single in 29 years, but his first solo video in 40 years accompanies it. The video was shot in a series of one-take performances by the creative team of directors, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt.

Summing up the song, Rachel says: "I think one of the things about the song is that it felt like we drew a line, and it was, okay, back to normal. Nobody's really talking about COVID anymore. There aren't stories in the papers, and no one wants to talk about those two years. And I think for so many people, there is a long tail, people really, really struggled and just because people are saying let's move on. I think a lot of people are still finding it really hard."

Townshend agrees: "Rachel is absolutely right; this is something that deserves to be carried in our daily life."

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