Pete Townsend Says Roger Daltrey Is Happier Than Ever Onstage
Pete Townshend says that nearly 50 years after forming the Who, Roger Daltrey is the happiest he's ever been on stage. The Who is currently on hiatus after wrapping the North American dates of its Quadrophenia & More Tour in late February. The band kicks off the tour's European leg on June 8th in Dublin. Townshend spoke to MSN and spoke about how times have changed for the pair on the road today, explaining, "On stage in Hamilton, (Ontario) Roger had one song where his sound went to pieces. I think his in-ear monitors went off and he got a bit down and I was in the middle of playing a guitar solo and I went over to him and I grinned and I laughed and he finally grinned and laughed back and I thought, y'know, that's not something that I would ever have thought of when I was a younger man. I would have thought well f*** him, let him drown (laughs). Now I kind of want him to be okay and I want to be there to support him."
Townshend shed some light on the stage dynamics between the pair in 2013: "I'm not happy in the role of accompanist to anybody at all. Y'know, I don't mind accompanying myself but I've got so spoiled for years of playing my own music but this is okay. This is better than okay, this is good, I'm doing a good job, and Roger is doing a good job, and I don't think I've ever seen Roger happier. But then again, maybe back in 1964 if we'd given him absolute and total control he would have been happy back then too. He does have absolute control of what's on the stage at the moment and it's working very well, so it's good."
Although he wrote and produced the Who's 1973 Quadrophenia project, Pete Townshend credits Roger Daltrey for conceiving the band's current tour behind the classic rock opera. Townshend told us that Daltrey that has actually realized his original goal for the album back in the day: "When Quadrophenia was first finished, back in '73, one of my frustrations was that I imagined it was going to go straight out on the road -- not exactly as a show, but something quite close to a show. So, for me, that realization of the music as a show is really important. But there's something else about it, which is great for me, which is that you can hear that Roger has, a, y'know, a tremendous creative investment in this. And I think it's one of the few things we've done, where we've been able to come together. Y'know, what Roger is doing these days, he's actually creating a new way of putting it across, and as he says, bringing it up to date."
Photo Courtesy of Rick Diamond