Roger Daltrey interview: Who's next?
Martin.Bailey at netsoltech.com
Tue Jun 29 12:51:27 UTC 2010
To summarise the interesting bits:
But when I asked if we could expect any new music in the future, without any hesitation he confidently replied,
"That's Pete's department."
Ah, an unexpected opening -- "Does that mean that The Who will carry on?" I asked.
"As far as we're both concerned," Roger replied.
Roger said that [Eric] Clapton is someone that he'd like to musically collaborate with in the future,
beyond being part of Clapton's supporting cast.
Most disappointing bit:
I asked Roger, "Any plans to release any other shows?" With a slightly disappointed look, he said that "there isn't much
archived. There is a second Live at Leeds concert, but other than that, really nothing."
Roger Daltrey interview: Who's next?
June 24, 4:08 PM
Tucson Concerts Examiner
Roger Daltrey rocks the fans at Tucson's AVA Amphitheater on June 22, 2010
Perhaps much ado about nothing? Since the Who's epic performance at Super Bowl XLIV, there's been raging speculation that fans might have seen the last of the rock super-group, due to guitar great Pete Townshend's continuing problems with severe tinnitus.
Well fans, reports of The Who's demise are greatly exaggerated -- based on comments from rock legend and Who frontman Roger Daltrey after his incredible show at Tucson's AVA Amphitheater on June 22, 2010.
I sat down with Roger after the show to talk about the band, his future plans, and really important things, like the 2010 World Cup. The first thing you notice about him is how comfortable he is in his own skin. He was very gracious before, during, and after the interview, absent the overblown sense of importance that you might expect from rock deity and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I originally intended to stay away from questions about the band's future, figuring he'd been asked it a thousand times. But when I asked if we could expect any new music in the future, without any hesitation he confidently replied, "That's Pete's department."
Ah, an unexpected opening -- "Does that mean that The Who will carry on?" I asked. "As far as we're both concerned," Roger replied. Fabulous news for fans of the boys from the U.K. Roger discussed the equipment -- earpieces and the like -- that he and the band are learning to use to enable Pete to perform.
In the interim, Roger is making the most of the band's hiatus. "I've got to keep singing our songs. No one really plays our music. It's a shame."
It is a shame. But in some respects, it may be the ultimate act of flattery. How can another band even hope to match the power of a rock anthem like "Baba O'Riley"?
This summer he's also playing a few gigs backing up fellow rock icon Eric Clapton. Roger said that Clapton is someone that he'd like to musically collaborate with in the future, beyond being part of Clapton's supporting cast.
One of the toughest questions that I asked Roger was to pick a single song that would define his career. I couldn't do it -- so I thought I'd leave it up to him. "There are so many. Where would you start? 'Behind Blue Eyes'? 'Who Are You?'" I couldn't even begin to pick a single song to summarize his legendary career -- it might have been silly of me to expect him to do so.
I know that there are Who songs that are fan favorites, but not necessarily Roger's, surprising him with their success -- "Magic Bus" for instance. "Were there any songs that you were sure would be hits, but weren't?" I queried. "There were no songs, really, but there were albums that didn't do as well as I expected. Who's Next wasn't nearly as big as I thought it would be."
In 2008, after 30 plus years stashed away in a vault, concert footage of The Who at Kilburn: 1977 was released as a DVD. I asked Roger, "Any plans to release any other shows?" With a slightly disappointed look, he said that "there isn't much archived. There is a second Live at Leeds concert, but other than that, really nothing."
Following up on the DVD angle, I asked Roger if he knew where I could get my hands on a copy of 2007's The Underwater World of Trout, Vol. 1 - Discovery. He let out a hearty laugh. He was featured in the documentary that provided insights into fish behavior to help anglers.
At one point, Roger owned the Lakedown Trout Fishery on his property in East Sussex. He designed and created the fishery close to 30 years ago. He told me that he had a keen interest in agriculture when he was younger. He went on to say that "European fisheries are a disaster. The American fisheries are well-kept."
Roger's interest in agriculture extended to his brief foray into "worm farming." "I did it as a way to get rid of organic waste." He was "green" before it was fashionable.
Taking note of his environmental sense, I asked him if he had any political ambitions. "Not really." He seemed a bit resigned as he went on, "We're all a little frustrated right now."
While Roger has no desire to jump into the political morass, he is making a significant impact on society with his involvement in the Teenage Cancer Trust. He has been a highly visible spokesperson for many years for the charity that was formed by Roger's "doctor and his wife who noticed that teenagers with cancer aren't adequately represented. They are suffering terribly."
The impetus behind the formation of the charity was the recognition that "it's very damaging to take a young person away from their everyday life, their friends, their environment, their family -- and put them in a cancer ward with small children or older people."
The Trust states that "Young people have a much better chance in their fight against cancer if they are treated by teenage cancer experts, in an environment tailored to their needs. So we're working every day to make that happen."
Roger went on, "We build hospital wards. We haven't been able to do much in the U.S. but UCLA is on the verge of adopting our programs. With UCLA behind us, it will take off in the U.S."
I just had to ask the Roger the day's most important question, namely, how do you like the English soccer team's chances in the World Cup? Keep in mind that this was before England made it to the round of 16 with a victory over Slovenia. With a slightly disgusted look on his face he said, "They don't deserve to win." Recognizing that some of the blame lies on coaching, he said, "I can't understand why they keep getting a coach that doesn't speak English."
He also laid some of the responsibility on the "dreadfully vicious English press" for the constant hounding of the players.
Throughout the interview, I was impressed with Roger's insightful and down-to-earth manner. I was a fan before, but I came away with an even bigger appreciation for this rock treasure. It was clear to me that as far as Roger's Use it or Lose it Tour, he's using it well.
By the way, Roger's voice was unbelievable. Every one of the fans at the show Tuesday evening got a HUGE helping of one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of all time.
And to use Roger's last words to me, "Be lucky."
My review of the fantastic show will appear later in the week. Let me know what you think of the interview.
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