Big Issue Vendor

Paul McCartney and Alfie Boe help musician Rachel Fuller honour lost pets

Fuller compiled Animal Requiem after she and husband Pete Townshend lost six dogs in five years

Musican Rachel Fuller enlisted the help of Paul McCartney and Alfie Boe to compose a requiem for pets after she and her rock guitar legend husband Pete Townshend lost six dogs in five years.

Fuller’s aim is for the 36-minute Animal Requiem to be made available for anyone who wants to commemorate their pet in a slightly more formal way.

Animal-lover McCartney allowed The Beatles’ classic Blackbird to be included, the original vocal given a new arrangement from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with vocals from tenor Boe.

The project has become more poignant for Fuller and The Who guitarist Townshend after their sad losses.

“We got them quite close together so unfortunately that meant they all started to pass one after the other,” she says.


There are currently around 2,000 Big Issue sellers working hard on the streets each week.

Fuller added: “Animals are a huge comfort and extraordinary company. They’re non-judgmental, they love you unconditionally. I’ve come across many Big Issue sellers with dogs and they always look happy and healthy and loved. They would feed their dogs before they fed themselves. It’s company, affection, warmth, kindness.

“Being able to say a proper goodbye gives you some form of closure. I thought we should have that for our animals.”

Animal Requiem will be released digitally on January 31 with a concert at St James’s Church in Piccadilly, London the same day. The physical album is out on March 8.