The Who guitarist Pete Townshend released his first solo single in 29 years, titled “Can’t Outrun the Truth.”

Inspired by the personal challenges of the COVID lockdown that began three years ago, the song was written and produced by Townshend’s wife, Rachel Fuller, in 2021. A portion of every download sale will be contributed to the Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity long supported by the Who. You can see the video for the track below.

In a statement, Fuller said she wrote the song while suffering back pain at the start of the couple’s lockdown. “We’d just moved house and Pete was as happy as Larry up in his studio, working every day,” she explained. “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, who played guitar, violin and lap steel on the track, said, “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. … 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.”

Artist Damien Hirst created the sleeve for a limited-edition run of 200 12" vinyl singles, which will be on sale at the current run of Teenage Cancer Trust shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall. It ends on March 26 with a gala night headlined by Townshend’s bandmate Roger Daltrey.

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