song and why his creative relationship with Pete Townshend works upcoming issue of AARP The Magazine, Daltrey touches on several. The relationship between Townshend, the pontificating art-school progeny . so tight it looked as if they might cause him problems in later life. Roger Daltrey is taking the Who's classic LP Tommy on the road this “ Pete [Townshend] is having terrible hearing problems at the.
There's almost nothing you can do with it. This was my problem in the Eighties - the brand was just so powerful. Who fans didn't like the last couple of albums that we made, It's Hard and Face Dances - and they weren't made lightly, they were struggled over - but they just didn't fit the model of the brand.
So I sensed that what Roger and I should do was honour the brand, honour the history, honour the classicism. We should respect the fact of what we did, and accept our knighthood.
And just live with it. And then the knighthood ties us to charity work. Anything that we do now has to be seen in context of that, but we can also draw a line and make a new start.
The live band has expanded to a six-piece - Townshend's brother Simon on second guitar, Pino Palladino on bass, John 'Rabbit' Bundrick on keyboards and Zak Starkey on drums - and nothing has pleased Townshend more than the reaction to recent shows from younger musicians. The Fratellis and Oasis enthused backstage, but approval from Paul Weller meant the most. You know, "Don't go back, don't ever go back, you're going back, I would never go back And being intuitive is fucking difficult.
What's unbearable is somebody who's old and won't let the past go. He helped me with a book I was writing about exploitation in the music industry. The Who had signed some disastrous early deals, and Townshend told me one reason for this: Can you imagine actually trying to sit down in the middle of a tour and explain a very complex bit of tax law to somebody as stoned as Keith and I used to be most of the time, or as thick as Roger used to make himself out to be?
He liked the idea of regular employment without pressure to deliver solo albums to a shrugging audience, and he offered a creative service to writers and photographers who wanted to tell their stories. His job coincided with the longest fallow period of the Who, froma period in which Townshend told everyone the group was no longer relevant.
I felt that we hadn't looked after our own, and there was something wrong with our business. Punk had shaken everything, but what followed was computers and Linn drums and Heaven 17 and Scritti Politti. Interesting music, but quite manufactured and complex, and much less of the blood. I felt that my role in that world was over. And I would get these regular visits from Roger saying, "I want to do this, I want to do that," and I would say, "Listen, it's over.
Watching him pretending to be who he was I had very little sympathy for him. I thought he should really go back and be a builder. A woman said to me the other day, "But he couldn't let it go. John Entwistle was very resentful as well. What happened with John was that he'd got used to living high, and his money supply was cut off. In the end, when Roger came to me and said, "Listen we've got to help John, let's try to train him to live less high," and we couldn't do that.
And as we trained him to live less high, he died. He didn't want to live less high. He preferred to be dead, in a sense. I didn't want to be so disdainful or so intellectual or so arrogant.
I didn't want to be doing interviews with people saying [moany voice] "What's it like being old, and you said you wanted to die before you got old. I drifted into drugs immediately after Keith's death in ByI was fairly full-blown.
It's certainly not a period I regret - I had quite a wonderful time. The only thing I regret is that the dabbling with drugs meant that I stopped drinking. I was a very, very functional drinker.
- Roger Daltrey on life on the road with The Who, never taking cocaine and near death crashes
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I used to love alcohol. I didn't love being drunk, but I loved drinking. Drifting into cocaine, because everyone else in the world was doing it except me, and then finding that all that really did was increase the amount that I drank - I think that did create what toppled me physically.
My real descent into extreme narcotics like heroin was a bit like that Pete Doherty thing that he's elongated into a life story now. I was trying to stop drinking, thinking, "Well, if I stop drinking I can use this, and if I use this then I can use that, and that's prescribed, and that's not prescribed I completely understand, I just understand.
In effect he has been working on it since the mid-Sixties, dutifully keeping old receipts and correspondence and many photographs in the hope that they would one day become revealing. And so they are. Townshend mentions one photo in particular by his friend Colin Jones, an iconic image of the Who posed in front of a Union flag at the time of 'My Generation'. Townshend is in the front in a Union Jack blazer.
You can see if you look at it that I'm crying, because Chris Stamp [the band's co-manager] and Colin Jones were making me ugly rather than beautiful, and taking my worst feature, which I now regard as my best feature, and exaggerating it.
The Who's Roger Daltrey on Keith Moon, fistfights, and The Kids Are Alright | Louder
It is called Pete Townshend: He says he is blessed with a good memory, but he found a peculiar gap. Townshend was born in Maya few days after VE Day. His mother was keen to celebrate victory by singing with his father, a saxophonist in the RAF dance band the Squadronaires, and she would follow him around the world. His grandmother lived in Westgate, on the Kent coast. And though it was shocking, it was the making of me as an artist. We're worse than the Germans, worse than the fascists.
There's all this echoing damage going on. I began talking to people, and found that, almost universally, people who had been evacuated had been unbelievably traumatised. But they had been refused the option of any mention of the trauma. Because what had actually happened was victory, peace, 'you're lucky'. I believe that when rock'n'roll came along, it had to happen. It sounds pretentious, and I never set out do it, but Tommy was an allegory of the postwar British condition.
And two, this is gross hypocrisy that I'm obviously going to be sacrificed. So for a moment I thought there's just no point trying to continue.
Roger Daltrey reveals favorite Who song and why his creative relationship with Pete Townshend works
Luckily, Rachel [the musician Rachel Fuller, his partner since ] was next to me when I read the paper. I turned to her and said, "Fuck, this is the end," and she said "No, it isn't. Let's go and make a few phone calls But my first fear was that I was going to be framed. On the basis of the evidence and my immediate admission - I coughed up straightaway that I had used a credit card to access a website, as part of research - it would be then assumed, "Ah, we've got your number," and they would then feel inclined to frame me.
And when there was no evidence found, it was all over. Despite his admission of misjudgment, and the fact that he was never charged, such associations are hard to shake off.
God, the arrogance of me! I looked at myself and I thought, "Fucking hell, Pete, what did you think was going to happen? I put these words in: The conceit of me! I was thinking, "I'm going to be the one to stop this Pete, it's Photoshop, it's not even real.
My lawyers and I decided that I shouldn't speak. So Roger spoke for me, and he was such a powerful voice. I remember Bill Nighy saying to me, "Fucking hell, everyone could use a friend like that. My marriage to my wife has not survived, and my marriage to Roger has survived, and it might be that only one of them could. I think you can only do one thing. I remember saying to [my wife] Karen, "I was a pop star when you met me," as though that would expiate the problem.
The problem for her wasn't me going away [on tour]. She often used to say to me, "Goodbye, don't come back, just send a cheque And 18 months in the life of Keith Moon was a fucking long time, and he had overindulged in every way. It must have been awful. I tell him that he seems surprisingly uncomfortable about watching himself perform, and ask if he has any interest in nostalgia.
Does he doubt his own ability, I enquire, or is his singing voice simply not to his taste? But do I like it? Do I like my voice? Seeing myself is the same. My wife always says: Do you think that on occasion Pete writes for his own voice, thus forcing you to sing a little out of character and not to your greatest strengths? But in the early days he certainly wrote for his voice, and I had terrible trouble finding the voice for The Who.
It had a very strange quality.
Simon Garfield meets Pete Towshend and Roger Daltrey | Music | The Guardian
Although it was very individual, it was the voice of everybody. Do you understand what I mean? And I know it worked, because those records sold millions.
But I did have trouble finding that voice. There was only once when the personalities really clashed. That was over drugs. Because the playing had gone really, really downhill. And the band was everything to me. I was always the one who drove it. I was the guy who started out making the guitars.
I drove the van, set the gear up. I was the guy who always pushed that end of it. And I could see it flying apart at the seams, and I thought: But anyway, that was over drugs. But I had no choice, because unfortunately I was the one being held back and he was hitting me with a guitar at the time. It was only one punch, and unfortunately it hit him when he was off balance, coming forward after throwing a punch at me which I dodged.
It was his own fault, because he told the roadies to let me go [laughs]. The dynamic seems to be that Pete knew exactly what strings to pull to make Keith act in the most outrageous fashion possible, while John simply sat back and shook his head, and you were left to pick up the pieces.
Is that a fair summation? And John, like you say, could just sit back and let it roll over him.
John had a much wittier sense of humour, but he could get stuck in when the cake fights started and all that, a lot of fun. Even smashing up rooms gets boring after a while. Then the third time: Unimpressed by a half-cocked pyrotechnic rehearsal on American TV variety extravaganza The Smothers Brothers Show, Keith plied the man in charge of special effects with enough alcohol to persuade him to increase the explosive charge.
And as we were flying home he came out wearing the toilet door over his shoulder. Which got us a bit nerve- racked. You suddenly realise that, hang about, a plane is built so that every bit of the structure holding it together is quite important, and ripping bits out in mid-flight is not a fucking good idea [laughs]. How drunk was Keith on that occasion? But fun… never dull.
And he was so creative, and he was so verbally astute. His use of language was way beyond his education. Although Tommy is probably more commercial, people in the Quadrophenia camp are more attached to it because it articulates a very important moment in their lives.
And those people that discover Quadrophenia, and identify with it, attach it to themselves more strongly than anyone ever attached Tommy to themselves. It was very much a case of same feelings, different tribe. And of course the passions and feelings of adolescence will always be the same. And no matter how the circumstances around it might change — it might be scooters, it might be motorbikes, it might be flying fucking saucers — what is going on within the human being at that age is going to be the same.