The song was originally recorded by Eric Clapton for his 1989 album Journeyman. Harrison also offered Clapton two other more rock-oriented songs: ‘Cheer Down’ and ‘That Kind Of Woman’. Clapton’s version of ‘Run So Far’ included a third verse not on Brainwashed.
In June 1999 Harrison invited Billboard writer Timothy White to Friar Park. The interview was granted to coincide with The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine Songtrack, yet that album was barely touched upon. Instead Harrison spoke about his projects, including the reissue of his back catalogue and a forthcoming album which he claimed would be titled Portrait Of A Leg End.
The interview shone a light on Harrison’s home and working life, and included several tantalising snippets of information. His next album, we were told, would include a cover version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Every Grain Of Sand’, a “potent power ballad” titled ‘Valentine’, and three songs which made it onto Brainwashed: ‘Pisces Fish’, ‘Run So Far’, and the title track.
It’s long after 1 a.m. when Harrison winds up his kaleidoscopic torrent of timeless tapes with his own lustrous, harmony-steeped version of ‘Run So Far’, the poignant song he gave to Eric Clapton for his old chum’s 1989 Journeyman album. George muses that it might fit well with the more current efforts he’s culled for the new record, and it’s true. It shares their same startling openness and intimacy, heralding what could well be the most stunningly personal omnibus he’s ever offered to his fans. What, Harrison is asked, will he call this wholly novel album when it’s finally done?
George indicates a lined notepad laid on a corner of the mixing console, on which has been sketched a simple outline of a human foot from the ankle downward. Penned above it is the title ‘Portrait Of A Leg End’.
His eyes twinkle as his guest gets the gag, and then he adds, “Maybe I could draw a boot on the foot for my boxed set of old demos, outtakes, and unreleased stuff, and I’ll call THAT ‘Portrait of a Boot Leg’.”