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Why I love...Roger Daltrey. - Guardian article
Why I love ...
... Roger Daltrey
Monday March 15, 2004
The Guardian <http://www.guardian.co.uk>
Loveable Laurel to Pete Townshend's truculent Hardy, Roger Daltrey was - and, indeed, still is - the Who's anchor, a graceless yet relentlessly honest reminder of his band's working-class roots and a necessarily earthy foil for the enormously-nosed guitarist's artier excesses. All terrier-haired bluster and daft cockney fists, Daltrey, at the height of the Who's success, was Valhalla via Acton high street.
These days the patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust is more likely to be found in Matalan's knitwear section than a Viking weapons store. Few rock stars have embraced creative abandon with such fervour. This month alone finds the heavy-chinned Londoner engaged in two massively ill-advised projects.
There is Extreme History With Roger Daltrey, a History Channel series in which he "recreates the past" using sticks, stones and bare-breasted bravado. And, astonishingly, there is Yes's Yes - Speak DVD, in which he narrates the tale of the prog-rock Poobahs as a baffled minicab driver would the Shastric scriptures (ie with difficulty).
While his contemporaries would doubtless declare such engagements to be acts of wildfire renaissance man creativity, Daltrey's eternally eager modus operandi would never permit such pretentiousness. As for the notion of turning down an ignoble acting role or a pointless voice-over gig ... well, that's just bleedin' bad manners, innit?
Ultimately, criticising the guffawing, garrulous star of Lisztomania for his lack of creative judgement is as churlish as damning a child for displaying too much enthusiasm in the school play. For in the restrictive, predictable galleys of rock, Roger Daltrey remains a beaming beacon of innocence and gusto, irrefutable proof that a working-class hero is sumfink to be.
Kevin in VT
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