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Roger Daltrey Describes Struggle With Meningitis: ‘All I Could Do Was Lay There and Groan’

Ian Gavan, Getty Images
Ian Gavan, Getty Images

This Saturday (Feb. 27), the Who will be back on the road to make up for the dates that got postpone due to Roger Daltrey‘s bout with viral meningitis. Earlier today (Feb 25), Daltrey talked about his struggle with the disease.

“I was shocked when they told me what it was,” Daltrey told Yahoo Music. “They immediately sent the anti-virals going and God knows how many antibiotics and how much cortisone. It’s big guns — not pleasant at all. The whole time I was in there, pretty much all I could do was lay there and groan. It’s a weird one and there’s an awful long recovery process, too.”

Daltrey first began showing symptoms last year while on tour with the Who. Although the concerts were going well, once he got off stage he was getting headaches. After suffering dizzy spells, he went to a hospital for tests. “I kept getting these strange twinges and headaches, and they got worse and worse and worse,” he continued. “In the end, I was basically on my hands and knees. I was in hospital for a week and they couldn’t find out what was wrong with me. They did bone marrow scans and I had about four spinal taps. I’m actually the most Spinal Tapped rock singer in the world [laughs]. Actually, they were very unpleasant. I can’t say it was fun.”

But his tests revealed nothing, so he tried to prepare for the next leg of the tour, but “that weekend, I was back on the ground in agony. There were a couple of days there when I didn’t think I was going to make it.”

Another trip to the hospital resulted in the diagnosis of viral meningitis, and the tour was scrapped. After a three-week stay, he was declared healthy and released, even though some side-effects still lingered.

The Who begin this new set of dates in Detroit. You can find their entire tour schedule here.

See the Who and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’70s

Next: Top 10 Roger Daltrey Who Songs

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