Roger Daltrey Talks Townshend, Songwriting, & Death

Roger Daltrey shed light on his 60-year-relationship with Pete Townshend during a new chat with Forbes. The Who kicks off its next North American run on October 2nd at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena.

Although no longer at loggerheads as they were during much of the 1970’s, Daltrey explained that he and Townshend’s connection is solely based around the Who: “Our relationship is a working one, and that’s about as far as it goes. But when we get on stage, there’s a chemistry that’s created. When we’re playing well, it starts to kick in properly. It’s still as wonderful as ever. We never really had a strong relationship off of the stage, though. It’s as simple as that.”

When pressed about his one-off collaboration with Townshend co-writing the Who’s second single, 1965’s “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere.” Daltrey explained, “It happened by accident. Pete had a sketch for a song, but didn’t have a bridge for it. We were rehearsing it, getting it down on stage at the Marquee Club. We were doing a show that night. When we got to the bridge part, I added some lyrics, and, if you add any lyrics to a song, you’re one of the writers. But apparently that doesn’t happen with everything you do, especially when jamming (laughs).”

Daltrey, who’s now 78, spoke frankly about like and mortality, revealing, “I’m afraid of the things that everybody else is. I’m not afraid of death, that’s for sure. I’ve been close to that too many times (laughs). Things that really frighten me are what might hurt my family. They are the most important thing in my life. That really terrifies me, that they’ll have to go through a terrible time. How my parents got through the war, losing brothers and sisters, I don’t know. The pain must have been enormous. The pain never left them, I do know that. I regret not talking to them about it. But I lived in the ignorance of it — we all do when we’re young.”

During a recent appearance on Britain’s The One Show, Roger Daltrey spoke about the key elements that set the Who apart from their peers: “I did get lucky, everybody gets lucky, you have to be lucky in this business. But we also had the talent and I got the good luck finding the other three members of the band. There was something about our rhythm — the rhythm that the four of us made that was always spiky. It wasn’t rock n’ roll. Rock n’ roll was, kind of, dance music, y’know, music to make love to. The Who made music to fight to.”

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