Pete Townshend unveils new song ‘Guantanamo’, details forthcoming compilation

Guitarist releases new track to mark his 70th birthday

With today (May 19) being his 70th birthday, Pete Townshend has decided to mark the occasion by releasing a new track ‘Guantanamo’.

The song is about the famous American military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Scroll down to listen.

“I thought this song might never see the light of day, but now President Obama has relaxed sanctions in Cuba, it is a happy sign he might go further,” Townshend said in a statement that also saw The Who guitarist detail its recording.


“Technically this was created in rather a laborious way. I recorded a long organ drone using my vintage Yamaha E70 organ (used many times by me on Who and solo recordings in the past), and then cut it into something that sounded like a song using a feature unique to Digital Performer called ‘chunks’. This creates blocks of groups of tracks that can be assembled and disassembled easily, like cutting multi-track analogue tape with a razor blade, but with less blood. The lyric grew out of the implicit angry frustration in the organ tracks.”

The piece will feature on a new 17-song compilation of Townshend’s solo work. ‘Truancy: The Very Best Of Pete Townshend’ is due out on June 29 via UMC /Universal Music and includes the singles ‘Rough Boys’,’ Let My Love Open The Door’, ‘English Boy’ and ‘Face The Face’, among other tracks, all of which have been remastered.

“I hope it offers a selection that works to introduce new fans to my solo work,” said Townshend. “I am a bit of a dabbler I’m afraid. I am as interested in building, developing and playing with recording studios as I am with making music. The Who has taken up most of my road hours, and in this year of the 50th anniversary of our first significant year in 1965, we are back on the road again.”

Townshend can be seen performing with The Who on June 26, when they headline Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time at Hyde Park. The group will then headline the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury on June 28 as the final headliner, alongside Foo Fighters and Kanye West.