Roger Daltrey Looks Back on 50 Years of the Who
"Actually," noted Roger Daltrey when Forbes pointed out that he and Pete Townshend have been together in the Who for 50 years, "[it's been] 54 or 55. And," laughed Daltrey, "he’s as bloody difficult now as he always was."
The duo's turbulent relationship is the stuff of Who lore, but as Daltrey quickly added, any squabbling is secondary to the stuff that really matters. "We have a funny relationship, a musical one. All that stuff you read in the press about fights and this and that, you’ve got to remember: We’re like two old wrestlers," he said. "People are interested. But when we get on stage and make music together, we’re one. And that’s all that matters. I don’t give a damn about the rest of it."
Pressed to identify what keeps the Who in such high demand, Daltrey mused, "There’s something about the way Pete wrote those songs, the foresight and maturity. It’s music like no other out there. The fact that we’re still singing them now makes it even better. Pete wanted to be totally original -- he found it, he stuck with it and we had that chemistry that made it work. We just got really lucky."
But those songs need a singer, and Daltrey was just as willing to point out where his own gifts combine with Townshend's to make the Who special. "When you go out there, you’re stark naked on that stage. Bits of muscle bounce together to create noise that has to contain all of this emotion, all these feelings," he continued. "The guy who writes the love song about broken hearts, he breaks his heart once when he writes it. A singer, well, he has to break his heart every night."
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