Roger Daltrey - Wikipedia
Mere minutes into our interview, and Pete Townshend is tucking in with the every day for lunch,” says The Who's brain trust, chomping on shortbread. the place of Who singer Roger Daltrey – and performed at a one-off concert the New Romantic scene, getting a bit depressed, marriage falling apart. His bandmates turned to hard drugs but Roger Daltrey was the dad of Guitarist, singer and songwriter Pete Townsend has been in and out Roger has two older sons from his first marriage and another brief relationship. Roger has spent most of this year putting on gigs for the Teenage Cancer Trust. They are very different people, Daltrey is or was a tough, hard, working class lad, who liked to fight and was a formidable fighter. Townsend was and still is an.
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. I used to love alcohol. I didn't love being drunk, but I loved drinking.
Pete Townshend saved Roger Daltrey's new album
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. 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.
'We'll go on until we drop dead' - Telegraph
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. 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 When I started to bring the ravages of my work home with me, it became harder and harder. She would go to me, "But it was great playing, was it? He is still not divorced complex property issuesbut he is contemplating the matter again now that their third child is He says that Rachel Fuller would like him to be divorced, and when I ask whether he plans to have children with her she is considerably younger than himhe says they haven't talked about it.
He also owns a Ferrari, but he gets a lot less hassle in the Lupo. On the way, he mentions the paucity of rehearsal time before the American tour, and the recent American anti-terrorism law that prohibits live webcasting. As he pulls up at the station he turns his face into the car, away from a pedestrian who has just begun to recognise him from his youth.
A week later, Roger Daltrey picks me up at Stonegate station in East Sussex in a new black Mercedes, and as he drives the short distance to his acre estate he talks of how proud he is of Pete and the new album, and what a terrible time it is to be a farmer. Wealthy rock musicians are traditionally assumed to inhabit baronial mansions, and Daltrey really does. The conversation drifts to the coverage of rock music on television 'The sound's got better, but the visuals have got fucking awful!
All that swooping, whooping All the things that Live8 was about in Africa, we did the same thing in Hyde Park - "them and us" with the Golden Circle [the privileged-access area at the front]. By the time we went on, the Golden Circle was exhausted, paralytic and asleep, and the real crowd at the back were going bananas'.
At 62, Daltrey is stocky and exuberant. His golden locks have long been supplanted by a light brown crop. He says he is 'absolutely blind' without his blue-tinted granny glasses; he has considered laser treatment, but is frightened of error.
He thinks he may have lost a few top notes over the years, but he is pleased how well his voice held up while recording the new material.
Not that he ever thought there would be new material. I thought, "Pete's got to let go of the Who. I'll never be the songwriter Townshend is, I don't kid myself, but at least I came up with something. It's been a rough five years for us both, and how he's come through it, I don't fucking know. I do have to deal with the madness of some of his schemes. I don't like the internet. I don't like the world he lives in. I don't think we've created a better society from the internet.
Virtual relationships - I can't deal with that. It's a different closeness, and I really treasure it for that. The Who is the energy that exists between Pete and I, and that energy is increased by doing it separately. I don't care when people say we're not getting on - it's not fucking important. All that matters is what exists onstage and in our music. In that music is our relationship, is our love. I have such a deep love and respect for him, and that goes through all of it.
It was about keeping your mind young and free. I thought that, as a society, we were making some progress, but now I don't know. The old strict morality seems to be making a comeback.
He was only 14 and had seen Elvis perform on television and was full of enthusiasm, telling friends that playing rock music was just the job for him. But when he went to a teacher and asked his opinion of the American rocker, he was told, with smug condescension, that Elvis was "disgusting". But his attitude was old. He was already dead as far as I was concerned.
'We'll go on until we drop dead'
I hated him and everything he stood for. He and his kind were just training people for a life with a briefcase. Give me Elvis any day, I thought to myself. At least he's free. We always looked a bit different from the other people around us, and I think we were drawn to each other because of that. It was a natural chemistry for us, and the music was great. I never looked back. Daltrey laughs gleefully when he recalls how much they shocked the audiences of the time.
We went to America and they put us on the same tour as Herman's Hermits. Can you believe it? We would come out and play this hard-driving stuff and people would look at us in amazement and say: It was like a little war right in their faces.
The group lost its way in the Seventies and the days of one hit record following another came to an end. InKeith Moon died of a drink and drug overdose and, for a time, Daltrey wondered whether the Who could continue without him. But what I loved about him, and what a lot of people don't know, is that he was one of the funniest men in England. He used to hang out with the Monty Python gang, and Graham Chapman once told me that Keith was funnier than any one of them. He was real-life Monty Python.
Where the group goes from here is uncertain, given not only Townshend's troubles, but the fact that another member died last year. Daltrey says that he wasn't surprised when the news of John Entwistle's death reached him. I'm a big believer in alternative medicine and healthy living, and I can tell when someone looks ill. I saw it in John's pallor and his eyes.
He lived hard and he took risks. Whenever I saw him in the last few years, I always made a habit of giving him a big hug before I left him. I was never sure I'd see him again.
Daltrey regards it as a perfectly appropriate exit for a Sixties rebel. It's not a death that any man should be ashamed of. Daltrey vows that he and Pete will soon reunite in the studio and record a new album, then tour once again. But will they perform as the Who? We're not going to give up now. As long as Pete's there on guitar, and I'm there to sing the lead, you're going to have the Who. The sound is still there. And in my opinion, Pete's getting better as the years go by.
Nothing is going to stop us, not the government or the press or anybody. We're going to keep playing until we drop dead. He was always the most robustly healthy member of the group, and he has aged well.
Married with four children, he has also enjoyed a relatively ordinary domestic life and is in no danger of being tempted by various evils on the internet. He doesn't even own a computer. A big-hearted man with simple tastes, he has mellowed a little with age, giving a lot of his time to his favourite charity - the Teenage Cancer Trust. The trust helps to provide special hospital units for teenagers with cancer, allowing them to give each other support and to receive special attention for their needs.