Who on The Who

L. Bird pkeets at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 12 23:32:39 CST 2005

Here's a site with some interesting articles.  I had a bit of a problem 
getting around on it with Netscape and the colors are a bit hard to read, so 
I'll reproduce the one below, which sounds to be from around the time of the 
TOMMY movie.  I believe I've heard this story before, but somehow I didn't 
catch Roger's comment on hearing John play for the first time.   See below:


The Who talk about ROGER DALTREY

JOHN: Just before I left school I met Roger walking down the road and I was 
with my wife - who was my girlfriend then - and I had this home made bass 
guitar under my arm. I was walking along with this bass guitar and Roger 
came up and said "I hear you play the bass guitar". So I said yeah so he 
said “well d’you wanna join my group” y’know. So they arranged an audition 
and I’ll always remember his words from when we finished playing a couple of 
numbers, he said ah "d’you think we’re good enough".

PETE: I think Roger is a much greater driving force in the band than anybody 
ever really realises. I mean I get a fantastic amount of credit for 
controlling the direction of the group, you know, and stuff. I want the man 
whose going to be up there saying the words I’ve written - i.e. Roger 
Daltrey - to mean what he’s singing. Ah, obviously to a great degree I’ve 
got a knack now after twenty years, of being able to write things which 
Roger can get behind. But occasionally I make mistakes, so obviously the 
very important thing about my relationship with Roger, over and above you 
know, personal relationships in the street or whatever, are concerned is 
that as a writer I should be able to write things that he can identify with. 
Ah, thus perhaps we come to one of the greatest secrets of The Who. Which is 
that Roger is a very ordinary bloke, right, so by writing things for this 
ordinary bloke I happen to be getting a lot nearer the man in the street. 
Getting a lot nearer to the kind of things that they want to say. And it’s 
only really recently that Roger and I’ve really sort of, that this has sort 
of dawned on Roger and I in this sense. You know we’ve only just really 
realised that this is really where Roger’s power is you know in the band, 
where his driving force is in the band, and in a sense where his modifying 
force comes in the band. So it’s, in other words, his role in the group is a 
negative one in a sense it’s an anchoring one as he says, you know, often. 
John Entwistle might be the visual anchor on the stage but Roger is the 
actual anchor.

JOHN: While listening to the demo we work out the chord structures and Roger 
does an awful lot as far as the arranging, like verses, middle eights, 
choruses etc.

PETE: Another reason why, say, somebody like myself might find it very 
frustrating working with Roger, it’s got nothing to do directly with Roger 
but the fact that you are writing solely for one person all the time. And I 
think both he and I found it incredibly refreshing, an amazing experience, 
when the Lou Reisner Tommy introduced us to other areas of work. Roger for 
the first time singing with somebody other than The Who, and me for the 
first time hearing someone other than Roger Daltrey singing my songs, or a 
good lump of them. And it emerged into a film involvement with Ken Russel 
for me, and solo albums for Roger and a part in the film for Roger… But in 
another sense it was a great thing, the Reisner Tommy, because of the fact 
that I suppose had it not been for that, the revitalised interest in Tommy 
wouldn’t have come along which allowed this picture to be made. I mean 
getting back to Roger, it wouldn’t have allowed him to have this film part. 
I mean that’s another thing, you see it’s so easy for somebody as close to 
Roger as I am to underestimate him. You know, I didn’t think for a minute 
that he would be able to act as well as he is able to act. In fact the first 
time that I saw him, ah, Keith Moon is an obvious actor, you know what I 
mean. Roger you don’t imaging acting, you imagine him singing and maybe 
doing a few arm movements. The first time I ever saw Roger from the front of 
a stage, you know in other words from the audience, was when he sang See Me 
Feel Me in the second production of Lou Reisner’s Tommy at The Rainbow.

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