Roger on U.S. election
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 15 09:45:04 CDT 2008
Oh, I have a feeling I'm going to have to skip The Who mailing lists for a while. Well, here goes:
From the Associated Press via Huffington Post:
The Who: Nostalgic, Pro-Obama And Not Slowing Down
RYAN PEARSON | July 15, 2008 07:53 AM EST
LOS ANGELES — Roger Daltrey is smacking his head.
He's heard enough about how Pete Townshend was writing songs for a
fresh album from the two surviving members of The Who. Or maybe
Townshend is writing for another band. Or he isn't writing at all.
let him get on with it. It's a cracked old record, isn't it?" Daltrey
exclaims, leaning over to hit his forehead twice with an open palm.
"Oh, it's all on, it's all off. Oh it's all on. It's been 35 years, I'm
tired of it. What is the point? What is the point? Give me a break!"
Which isn't to say Daltrey, 64, has given up on the possibility of
following their last studio album, the actually not-so-long-ago
"Endless Wire," released in late 2006.
"I still feel that he still will come up with perhaps his best
work," Daltrey said of Townshend in an interview with The Associated
Press. "I still think that he's still got it in him. It's just whether
he thinks that we're the instrument that he wants to do that on.
Personally, I think he's mad to try and change it at this stage in his
life. I mean, why fix something that's not broke?"
To prove the point, the band was the center of a tribute concert
over the weekend in Los Angeles. Featuring performances from Tenacious
D, Pearl Jam, The Flaming Lips and The Who themselves, it will air as a
two-hour Rock Honors show Thursday night on VH1.
The auspicious set of contemporaries who gathered pleased Daltrey.
Eddie Vedder had worked with him on charity events, and Daltrey said
Tenacious D frontman Jack Black "should've been a rock star."
"When you look at Jack Black, whatever he's doing ... it just always
reminds me of that first initial feeling I had when I heard Elvis
Presley singing 'Heartbreak Hotel,'" Daltrey said, delivering a
guttural growl. "Haah! What's that noise! Graaaawr! Yeah, just that
Wearing tennis shoes with blue socks, Daltrey in person shows little
of the wear and tear you'd expect in a rock veteran of the '60s. He
looks ready to hit the gym, and whirls his way out of the interview
room with a bottle of water in hand, not stopping to eat a single bite
of the Japanese breakfast that had been ordered for him.
He puts his own energy into booking charity concerts, small acting
roles and the occasional venture back out onto the road. The Who will
be touring Japan and the U.S. this fall, including two November dates
already set at downtown Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre.
Sure, it's been more than four decades since "My Generation." But
the two aren't ashamed of sparking fans' nostalgia. In fact, Daltrey
says the memories of drummer Keith Moon (who died in 1978) and bassist
John Entwistle (dead since 2002) still resonate when he and Townshend
"We're left with ... the way they played, the way we reacted to the
way they played. So that kind of stays in our subconscious forever,"
Daltrey said. "But the communication on the sublevel between Pete and I
is the same as ever.
"And that's the bit that I get off on. Not particularly the
formatted stuff that's written. It's just when it flies off at an angle
and you're jamming. Because when it comes out of the air, it's
The result may not be timeless, exactly, but it ages gracefully.
"You listen to 'Won't Get Fooled Again,' it still could be a new
band," Daltrey said. "It's almost as old as The Platters. They still
sound great, but it sounds dated. There are still young bands making
our kinds of music. And our music holds up well with those young bands."
Daltrey calls himself a fan of Scottish band The Fratellis and
English acts Razorlight and Metro. He hasn't yet listened to Coldplay's
latest release, and is looking forward to something new from Amy
"She's something very, very special," he said. "I'm bored ... of
that album (`Back to Black'). And I hope she takes care of herself. She
needs to really go and talk to some survivors. I'm sure she will."
Daltrey said he doesn't hear much about the U.S. presidential race in Britain but called Barack Obama the "obvious winner."
"Let's just hope to God he wins," he said. "Let's be honest, with
the standing in the rest of the world of America today, with what
George Bush has done to your country, it is inconceivable to me that
Americans would vote in another Republican. It would be kind of really,
really weird if they win again. You just sometimes wonder, what if,
just what if (John) McCain did win. The signals that would send to the
rest of the world!"
The Who recently licensed downloadable tracks for the video game
"Rock Band." Daltrey said he tried it and got bored quickly. He laments
the way technology has shifted how people regularly interact with
music, saying the scrapping of long-play records signaled the death of
the music industry.
"They've destroyed the form, as soon's it went digital. The CD was a
confidence trick," Daltrey said. "It wasn't just music that people used
to buy, it was a total art form. ... I think that's what people like.
They like it personal. They like vinyl because if you scratch vinyl,
it'll be scratched, but it'll be your scratch. It will only be on your
"Now for people, (music) is just not a big part of their lives. It's
like background noise. There's just so much else going on, isn't
there?" he said.
With a wistful but sly smile, Daltrey summons his own nostalgia for
the time of "Baba O'Riley": "That's all we had was music. There was
nothing else. There was cinema, music and sex. Life was better."
-Brian in Atlanta
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