Roger interview in Sunday Telegraph (Australia)

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Sun Jun 27 10:15:59 CDT 2004

On line at:

The Who ready to rock
By Paul Stewart
June 27, 2004

HOW do you know when you've hit the rock 'n' roll big
time? Well, in the case of young Aussie band Jet, it
would have to be hearing that you were the subject of
a recent conversation between two genuine legends of
the game.

Roger Daltrey, of famed English 1960s group The Who,
admits he's a big fan of the Aussie four-piece. 

"We just played with them at the Isle of Wight
festival in England, and they were great," he says. 

"I was discussing them the other day with Bruce
Springsteen's guitarist, Stevie Van Zandt, and he's
also a fan. 

"He was telling me he had all these early Jet
recordings that were released before this latest
album, and he's going to send me a copy." 

But Daltrey, who is about to hit Australia for the
first time in 40 years with The Who, is hearing no
talk about the young guns taking the glory away from
his outfit when they shared the stage. 

"Our reviews were actually incredible," he says. 

"Our latest live shows have been getting the best
write-ups of our career. 

"Honestly, we couldn't write better ones ourselves,"
he laughs, adding without shame: "According to all
reports, we stole the show at the Isle of Wight." 

The Who, of course, are one of rock and roll's most
seminal and influential acts, emerging in the mid-'60s
with a raw, anarchistic, in-your-face brand of
"maximum rock 'n' roll". 

English music papers raved in 1965, one going so far
as to state: "Their music is defiant, and so is their
attitude. Their sound is vicious. This is no
note-perfect showbiz group." 

Perhaps the defining moment of The Who's career came
in 1969 when they released their famous rock opera
Tommy - about a deaf, dumb and blind boy who becomes a
pinball champion. 

"I don't know about it actually being an opera,"
Daltrey confesses after all these years. 

"I think we called it a 'Rock Opera' just to get up
the noses of the establishment. 

"The Who thing certainly opened up people's
imaginations with that show." 

Daltrey says his band remains popular because their
music is "incredibly special". 

"You have to play these songs with energy," he says.
"You just can't get away with anything less. 

"Pete Townshend also writes very personal material.
Sometimes it's painful to hear him being so honest." 

The Who's 2004 line-up includes Ringo Starr's son, Zak
Starkey (drums), Simon Townshend (guitar), John
Bundrick (keyboards)and Pino Palladino (bass). 

Departed are original drummer Keith Moon, who died in
1978, aged 31, and bass player John Entwistle, who
died in 2002 of heart failure in a hotel room at the
beginning of the band's North American tour. 

"Of course, I still miss those guys," Daltrey says. 

"I miss John a lot more because he died only recently.

"The thing is, though, when we're on stage and the new
bass player is going through John's lines, it still
feels like he's there with us." 

Daltrey admits life became "a lot easier" working
without rock and roll wild man Keith Moon, but adds he
misses his old drummer's "over the top" sense of

"With Keith, I spent most of the show ducking flying
drum sticks coming from behind me," he laughs. 

"Yes, I did get hit a number of times. Keith was just
so unpredictable. He would crack you up halfway
through a song with some gag." 

To mark their new shows around the world, The Who have
released an album called Then And Now. It's a best-of
collection featuring the band's first two new
recordings in more than 20 years - Real Good Looking
Boy and Old Red Wine. 

The Who will play the Sydney Entertainment Centre on
July 28 and 29. Tickets are available through

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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