Roger Daltrey Doubts The Who Will Return To North America
Although the Who is still selling out venues on this side of the Atlantic, Roger Daltrey is unsure whether the band will ever make it back to North America. Out now is the new live set, The Who With Orchestra Live At Wembley, and they’ll kick off a 14-date European tour on June 14th in Barcelona, Spain.
When pressed as to what comes next for the band, Roger Daltrey told USA Today: “Nothing at the moment. I don’t know if we’ll ever come back to tour America. There is only one tour we could do, an orchestrated Quadrophenia to round out the catalog. But that’s one tall order to sing that piece of music, as I’ll be 80 next year. I never say never, but at the moment it’s very doubtful.”
Daltrey admitted in many ways it’s tougher to tour today than it was in the past: “Touring has become very difficult since Covid. We cannot get insured and most of the big bands doing arena shows, by the time they do their first show and rehearsals and get the staging and crew together, all the buses and hotels, you’re upwards $600,000 to a million in the hole. To earn that back, if you’re doing a 12-show run, you don’t start to earn it back until the seventh or eighth show. That’s just how the business works. The trouble now is if you get Covid after the first show, you’ve (lost) that money.”
He went on to explain his love for performing hasn’t diminished in the least: “We’re enjoying it. Y’know, Pete (Townshend) can’t quite jump 10-foot in the air anymore. He can do three-foot, so he’s not bad! (Laughs) I don’t swing the microphone hardly at all now because it doesn’t matter to the sound anymore. Before, when all of those things used to work, it was a circus act. We’re more than that now. I’m proud that our music has come of age and I think you could say this is the most modern classical music out there.”
Pete Townshend shed some light on the Who’s longtime relationship America: “For us, the U.S.A. is our primary market. And it’s where we can do the most work in an intense period of time. But I think Roger and I get very envious of people that can, y’know, do a week’s work and then go home. Y’know, in the old days, that’s how we used to work here in the UK. We used to drive to Newcastle, do a show and then drive back that night and take the kids to school the next morning. Y’know, it felt as close to normal life as you were ever gonna get.”