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Roger Daltrey Says ‘The Rolling Stones Are The Best Rock N’ Roll Band’

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Although this month’s “Desert Trip” concerts were an embarrassment of riches — Who frontman Roger Daltrey put the shows into proper perspective. For the fans that have long fought over whether the Rolling Stones or the Who deserve rock’s top spot, Daltrey laid it to rest, telling, “We’ve never claimed to be a rock n’ roll band. The Stones are the best rock n’ roll band. We’re a rock band. It was fighting music. We don’t do the roll. We did the rock. And we’re the best f***ing rock band in the world.”

Daltrey, who’s now 72, was asked about how long he thinks he’s got left to belt it out night after night on stage, and admitted, “You don’t give this business up. This business gives you up. . . You know when you’re losing your essence and I just hope I have the courage to say, ‘That’s it. I’ve done my best work. Now it’s crap.’ I refuse to just go through the motions.”

Daltrey went on to talk about how the concert scene has changed for bands like the Stones and the Who: “What people expect from a show now is totally different. When we were in the ’60s, we were four guys, three amplifiers, a drum kit and we made all our noise from the stage. That was it. You could pack it all into one semi and then you’re off down the road. Now, people expect big screens. They expect video. They expect light shows. It’s a whole new ball game, but it’s still fun.”

The pre-fame Pete Townshend was among the earliest Rolling Stones fans jamming into their early-London blues gigs. In recent years, he’s been an outspoken fan of Mick Jagger’s solo work, and has joined forces with him on a number of occasions — most notably supplying guitar on the Stones’ song “Slave” from their 1981 Tattoo You album. Townshend told us that although he and Jagger have never written together, it’s not something that’s entirely out of the question: “Y’know, even very, very intimate friends like Mick Jagger, and I’m a great fan of his solo work, I think it’s incredibly underestimated. Y’know, he’s asked me to work on several records with him and I’ve very much enjoyed doing it. But he’s never suggested that we write together. Now, his ex-wife Jerry (Hall) used to say all the time, ‘You and Pete should write together.’ And we would kind of go, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. It may happen, it may not.'”

Photo Courtesy of Atlantic/WEA

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