Roger Daltrey Recalls Ending The Who To Save Pete Townshend
Roger Daltrey recalled making the decision to end the Who in 1982 in an effort to save Pete Townshend‘s life. Although by the time of the that year’s It’s Hard album and its subsequent North American tour Townshend had regained his sobriety — Daltrey was adamant that the damage done and the pressures Townshend was burdened with would only cause him harm.
Daltrey shed light on the period, telling Record Collector, “I think Pete knew he’d made a mistake around 1980. He was going downhill with substance abuse and all that kind of stuff. And I decided at the beginning of that (1982) tour to pull the plug on the band and for it to be our last, because I was really frightened at the time of finding him dead on the bathroom floor, or dead in bed in the hotel room. It was one of those situations. I thought the only way to stop this is to come off the road. It was a difficult decision, but I felt it was the only way forward. We’d gone backwards.”
Although the Who reunited for tours in 1989 and 1996/97, the band didn’t become an ongoing concern again until 1999.
Roger Daltrey told us that in the years following John Entwistle‘s 2002 death, he’s learned to work as Pete Townshend needs him, while taking on some of the less glamorous aspects of running the band: “‘Just have to be there if he needs you. That’s the function. I’m just an instrument for him — and I accept that, I’m quite happy with that. But I do all the other stuff behind the scenes, the business side of it. I deal with the interviews when he doesn’t fancy doing them, and a whole raft of other stuff that has to do with Who business that Pete doesn’t do, that I do. So, y’know, we do kind of share the load in different ways.”
The Who kicks off its European tour on June 14th in Barcelona, Spain.