Daltrey: ‘You Must Try To See Townshend Once In Your Life’
Roger Daltrey is adamant that fans do not want to miss the Who on tour during its upcoming “Who Hits Back” trek. Daltrey, Pete Townshend and their band are currently Stateside rehearsing for the jaunt, which kicks off on Friday night (April 22nd) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the Hard Rock. Daltrey told The Palm Beach Post, “You must try to see Townshend once in your life. He’s fantastic — the best I’ve ever heard in my life. And I’ve heard some pretty decent music.”
In addition to Daltrey and Townshend — and the local orchestra backing them at every gig — the Who’s 2022 lineup features longtime touring members Zak Starkey on drums and Pete Townshend’s younger brother, Simon Townshend on rhythm guitar. Rounding out the band are Who and Daltrey veterans Loren Gold on keyboards and bassist Jon Button. Also returning is longtime Who associate and background vocalist Billy Nicholls, orchestra conductor Keith Levenson, lead violinist Katie Jacoby, and lead cellist Audrey Snyder. Joining the group this time out will be additional keyboardist Emily Marshall.
Daltrey went on to talk about the power of performing with a full orchestra: “It leads to a sound that literally takes your head off. Even I was astonished at the power of it. You live with the sound of synthesizers making string noises and orchestral noises, which you can do, very simply, on a few keyboards. But then, you hear a real orchestra and a real violin, viola and cello and a couple basses going — it touches the human body, it touches our senses in a different way. It’s a big experience.”
2022 marks the 55th anniversary of the Who’s first U.S. dates. Daltrey went on to reflect on what it was like for the band at the start: “In the old days it was just the four of us. We didn’t have the equipment, the hotels were Holiday Inns, which we got banned from continuously (laughs). But we had so much fun. It is really, really, really weird. We had so much fun in those days, I can’t tell you. It was such a wonderful world to be in in those days. Everything was possible.”
It’s amazing to think that nearly 45 years after Keith Moon‘s death, the Who are still rolling out arena dates across the globe. Pete Townshend looked back at what it took to stage a Who show back in the 1970’s: “What would the Who be like today if it was still just the four of us. I don’t know if I could do shows like that. I don’t know whether I could do shows where I had to play the guitar, sing, lead lines, backing vocals, leap up and down, do all that stuff — and keep my brain alert enough to deal with Keith Moon’s banter. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see Keith go through his decline and recover. It would’ve been a mixture of kind of glory and sadness, because he could never have recovered his youth any more than I can.”