The Who stars Daltrey and Townshend’s ‘strange relationship’ | Music | Entertainment
The Who will complete the latest leg of their Hits Back! UK tour tomorrow in Brighton, after a previous global tour was cut short in March 2020 by the global pandemic.
Their main Moving On world tour had first been interrupted by Daltrey’s vocal struggles in 2019, the same year the band released their first album for 13 years, Who.
Fans can also catch archive concert footage and more on BBC 2 tonight from 10pm.
Frontmen Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have been there since the start in 1964 but are refreshingly open about their differences from the very beginning and why they still “don’t have any money.”.
Daltrey said: “People don’t quite understand our relationship.”
Daltrey admitted that the pair didn’t speak to each other at all for two years during the global lockdown.
He said at the time: “”We have completely different lives, but you know, who knows where it will go…? I don’t know where it will go in the future… I haven’t seen him for two years. Do I miss seeing him? No. I know what he looks like…
“I’ll see him when I see him, that space between us doesn’t exist because our brains are somewhere else. And when we get together, it’s that creative thing that will still be there, I’m confident that it will be.”
Daltrey said: “People don’t quite understand our relationship. There’s creative friction, which is healthy, you’ve got to have that.
“Like an artist who’s performing on stage, if they never get criticized, they can die from sycophancy because how can they know where they’re going unless they hit a wall and get a reflection of what they’re doing? You know? So, friction is necessary, it’s good.”
In the end, those two years became three, but Daltrey added: “There’s a deep connection between the two of us, but we’re not in-our-pocket friends, you know. It’s not like that, but the creative process that we can conjure up between us is incredibly healthy, and there’s an awful lot of love in the relationship, that’s all I can say.”
Like every major rock band, there have been many and varied notorious moments since they formed in 1964 – often (and is also usual with rock bands) rooted in alcohol and drug issues.
Daltrey spoke about how his bandmate turned to booze when they started to enjoy their first major success after the single My Generation and the 1965 album of the same name.
He said: “Pete, as the pressure of writing hit and he started to make money – and obviously as he was the writer he was making lots of money – sadly the pressure got to him and he got hooked on the booze and his Doctor Jekyll started coming out.”
When they started out, Daltrey admitted they were often losing money due to one iconic habit of smashing expensive guitars like Rickenbackers which sell for thousands these days,
He said: “It started by accident at a little club called the Railway Hotel in Harrow and Wealdstone (in North West London) and Pete played in a certain way and hit the neck of the guitar on the ceiling. It was a very low ceiling, it broke the neck at the top. Pete was at art school studying Gustav Metzger’s auto-destructive art, and decided that he’d suddenly become Gustav Metzger in The Who and destroy the bloody thing. It was incredibly painful for me to watch because for the first three years I was making the guitars.”
Daltrey has also spoken against the “joke’ streaming revenues artists receive these days: “I don’t know what the point of a new Who album would be? I mean, I ended up. . . the last Who album cost me money to make — I don’t know if I’m gonna carry on for that very long, because at the moment, y’know, we’re all out of work. I’ve got savings, but they won’t last forever. We’re much better off than most, but it won’t go on forever and I can’t go on paying to make music. That’s a fool’s game, y’know?”
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