Roger Daltrey

ARTICLE ABOUT Roger Daltrey (The Who) FROM SOUNDS, June 28, 1975

This is a refreshingly honest interview with the one and only frontman of the Who. This one should be read by all as Mrs. Charone conducted a really good interview here. Nice one, Barbara!
Read on!

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Roger rides a rock horse

Exclusive Roger Daltrey interview by Barbara Charone

It was rather bizarre actually. There was this enormous inflatible lady, red satin knickers and racy black lace. But she was headless. And there was this silver space capsule plummeting towards earth. But it wasn`t really moving. And there was a patient Roger Daltrey saying “Lola B flat”. And an even more patient Ken Russell saying “Lola A flat”. It was really rather strange.
The fantasy and illusions stop for lunch. The inflatible lady stays behind in a dingy studio at Shepperton while the rest of the less plastic crew take time out from the very last day of shooting `Lisztomania` for lunch.
Franz Liszt climbs out of the space capsule and suddenly becomes Roger Daltrey. Roger Daltrey, actor, climbs out of some fancy grey threads into some scruffy denims and becomes Roger Daltrey, rock singer. We are back to square one.
The atmosphere is decidely more realistic inside the practical but unglamorous canteen. The food is the same standard, barely edible stuff found in any cafeteria but the clientele is more attractive. People from wardrobe and makeup, directors, sultry female extras, all sorts.

ROAST CHICKEN

Roger Daltrey looks up from his roast chicken, casting an eager eye over the colourful crowd. He is very tired today, feeling the blunt edge of continuous work for the last 18 months. Not content to stay home and mind the pigs, Roger Daltrey has been busy lately.
We were talking about this dead end rock has run into. “It`s nothing to do with getting old,” says a member of the world`s only intact and unchanged rock and roll band. “It`s just learning things, growing up and becoming mature. It`s the growing up that`s anti-rock. Rock isn`t refusing to grow up, it`s the people that buy it; it`s what they want to hear. That`s what doesn`t want it to change.
“It`s still only the four people in the band. That`s why we`ve lasted because kids want to see the Who, see those four people. You can`t just turn it off, go somewhere else and expect people to put up with it.
“If the Who went onstage like the Pink Floyd, with an incredible light show, and stood there like four dead people that sounded great, our fans wouldn`t put up with that. Nothing is going to change. So what do you do?” The singer asked passionately. “What do you do?”
If you are the Who, you do a great number of things. You let the machinery unravel, slowly, allowing individual components to function without group environments, positively hoping that frustrations will disappear and the machinery emerge well oiled and more impressive than before.
While not known for their intimate comradeship offstage, the Who have seen even less of each other over the last 18 months with each member pursuing various cinematic and musical projects.
This Summer the individual components are being fused together again for the recording of the first Who album since `Quadrophenia`. Before examing the machinery in toto, let us briefly turn our attention to one energetic cog in the cycle.

“This album is very positive,” said Roger Daltrey referring to `Ride A Rock Horse`, his second solo album released next week. “The first one was a bit negative. If I`d been too positive then, it would have done the Who a lot of damage. I`m not insecure about doing a solo album now, which I was before. It`s not a matter of proving anything. It`s just that I love singing.
“It`s more the way I sing ya know?” he looked up intently making you understand instantly. “Like when I did my first album everyone said `oh Daltrey`s gone soft`. But that was just a side of me that got overshadowed in the Who. This one`s got more balls to it. It`s not wishy-washy at all. And the strings,” he says becoming excited,” aren`t any of that Mantovani stuff.”
Solo albums are a curious breed of record, alternating between the good and the not so good, sometimes sinking to new depths of tastelessness. There is no Court of King Arthur concept here, simply 10 musical songs. You remember, those catchy refrains that last a couple of minutes and are easily hummed? That`s right, songs.
“What I tried to do is get all my different influences on the album. There are little bits throughout that you can hear. One song, `Near To Surrender`, is me old soul days. It reminds me very much of an Otis Redding song, not the actual sound but the way it feels, “(emphasis on the feel).
“Little touches are thrown in all the songs. Like on `Hearts Right` there`s a solo bit that`s very Beach Boys with a little Stevie Wonder thrown in.” The singer laughs. “And `Milktrain,`” he says of a song vocally reminiscent of the Who`s `Dogs`, “reminds me of Syd Barrett, it sums up 1967, that whole flower power period.
“And `Ocean`s Away` has that water bit which is `Quadrophenia`. Of Course,” – he flashes a very large grin, eliciting looks of approval from nearby tables filled with the sultry female extras – “the Who stinks all the way through it. The Who are all over the record.”

INSPIRATION

But only in spirit and inspiration. Like his last solo album, which exposed someone named Leo Sayer to the world, Daltrey has chosen to record songs by less familiar names. This wise move achieves two purposes, simultaneously showing off Daltrey`s voice and new songwriters. Who wants yet another version of the same old songs?
“As usual I didn`t write any of the songs. But if I can`t write, at least I can expose other people because there`s so many artists that can`t get heard. I`d love the album to be a success because the people I`m trying to expose are worthy of getting a bit of success at last. Russ Ballard (who produced the album) has been around for years. He`s Mr Underated.
“I could have produced the album myself but it wouldn`t have been as good as what Russ did. Producing yourself on record is like trying to direct yourself in a film. What`s good to you isn`t necessarily the best you can do. You`ve got to get that something else.”
On the album songwriters like Paul Korda, Bugatti and Musker, Philip Goodhand-Tait, and Ballard, are exposed to an even wider public than before. As if this isn`t enough, Daltrey plans on allowing undiscovered talent to grow and mature on this record label, Goldhawke, of which his album is the first release.
“I feel very good about the record company. The Who should have been doing that a long time ago. When Track was set up those were the original intentions but it backfired.
“In the early days Track was really good. There was Hendrix and Arthur Brown. Then nothing. They lost interest in their own company which is sad. I hope that never happens to me.”
Paul Korda, who wrote three very good songs on `Ride A Rock Horse` is presently in Memphis recording an album for Goldhawke, singing like a `male Nina Simone`. And there are more extraordinary plans.

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“We`ve got a group of young girls,” pause for decadent giggles, “who can really sing. And we`ve got this 16-year-old girl we found doing `Lisztomania`. We were doing a scene for a live concert. All the audience were young girls, the blue knicker brigade” – pause for more decadent giggles.
“At dinner they used to get up and entertain each other. And this one girl got up without a microphone and sang `River Deep Mountain High` and I couldn`t believe it! It was incredible. So we signed her up.”
And there`s the story about the guy who works in a `bloody tailor shop` and wrote a song for Roger. In a business continually low on enthusiasm, Roger Daltrey is an enigma, constantly full of enough energy and excitement to infuse any project despite the necessary voltage. Reacquainting themselves with each other again, the Who need an electrical shock.
“The Who need to get all that energy back together as a unit. At the moment we`re having problems finding that sorta energy. I`d like to see the Who back as a good rock and roll band,” Roger says with the vengeance of a real fan. “We are having a lot of problems. I won`t try and hide the fact that we are.”
I wondered if the problems merely revolved around not working together for a long time.
“It`s that and – well the group vehicle seems to have found it`s limitations on the surface. I think once we get down to it and really do it, we`ll find new boundaries. But at the moment, it all feels a bit cramped.”
With all the recent ballyhoo about the overwhelming `Tommy` film, one could easily attribute the band`s queasy feelings about communal confinement to the film. But the problems are deeper than just a fixation with that deaf, dumb, and blind boy.

FRUSTRATION

“No, the film hasn`t affected us,” Roger says somberly. “The problems started before the film. It`s us taking ourselves too seriously. That`s the main problem. You`ve got to draw the line somewhere.
“It definitely got to the point where it wasn`t fun anymore,” he says echoing similar statements made in the Press by Pete Townshend. “And if it ain`t fun why bother?
“It doesn`t all have to be fun but I`ve always enjoyed it. But it`s really a group thing. Pete`s having terrible problems with wanting to play again, play in the situation we were playing in. To me, it`s all down to us. You`ve got to go onstage and try to get better and better. Some nights you don`t succeed but after a length of time you do get better.
“Pete seems to want to be able to get better immediately when nothing has changed. I understand his frustration `cause he doesn`t want to jump, when they say jump. But then again, it`s also entertainment.”
For a long time now, critics have suggested that while elevating them to new heights of commercial and artistic acceptance, the `Tommy` album has done nothing but hold the band back. Daltrey disagrees.
“It`s not `Tommy` that held us back. Nobody wanted to listen to what we were doing. `Who`s Next` holds up much better than `Tommy` but nobody wanted to take it seriously. Nobody wanted to give it the amount of thought they gave `Tommy`, just because it was 10 songs and no great, big, bloody thing about a spastic. It was just a bunch of songs rescued from another concept (Lifehouse).
“The whole head of the group was good at that time. We`d had the huge thing of `Tommy`. We were out there playing because we really wanted to play. No big heavy numbers. It was great,” Roger sighs in fond memory. “That was the most enjoyable period of my time with the group.
“The only thing I was down about then was a fear that the Who were getting overshadowed by the synthesiser. It didn`t happen because we took the songs onstage and did without it.
“In `Quadrophenia` we got drowned in it,” he laughs, “and funny enough `Drowned` was the only song that pulled us out. That was my main argument, you`ll never get the Who to play like machines. We`re not robots.”

Sure enough the inevitable happened. Taking `Quadrophenia` on the road without using additional musicians and destroying what made the Who great, meant using complicated tapes of backing tracks. Being a band that thrived more on emotion than mechanics, the Who would often start before the tapes and the tapes would sometimes start before the Who. On a good night they started together.
“What happened with rock and roll music is that it got caught up in technology. Even though it takes leaps and bounds when new sounds come out, nothing really changes. There`s a parallel everywhere. Only technology changes. Rock took on an enormous race between 1964 and 1974 and that`s slowing down. Suddenly it`s got nowhere to go.
“Rock isn`t going to change,” Daltrey says, old passions returning. “All you can do is keep writing the same kind of songs. You can`t let it die. So much has been done but I can`t see something new coming along. That`s why being flexible is so important.
“And, at the moment, the Who isn`t very flexible,” – he says the word like it`s made out of plastic. “That`s where we`re finding the crunch at the moment.”
This being 1975, several founding rock bands seem to be feeling that same crunch. Traffic have broken up. Punters put bets on this being the Stones` last American tour. Time off the road becomes longer than time touring. The Who are the last salvation of a dying era. Do they feel that pressure to stay together?
“I don`t give a shit about that. I don`t care whether they expect us together or not. As long as the next thing we do is 1 per cent better than `Quadrophenia` then I`ll be well satisfied. The album will be a straight album, no concepts and it will get done this Summer. We`ve attempted to start it already,” he says delicately of the fragile situation called making records.
Several weeks ago there was a lovely Saturday afternoon when the sun shone all day and temperatures were pleasantly warm. A perfect day for a rock and roll concert but the schizoid bill at the Crystal Palace Garden Party hardly excited any followers.

Instead it was a very long day of pretty much unexceptional music and so it was with much pleasure that I watched the Who that same night, on a `Second House` re-run, going through their paces at last year`s Charlton concert.
“That`s the Who,” Roger says of the days the band played live. “Either we own up and say that`s what we do or we pack up. I just don`t know.”
We sat in silence for a few minutes, cups and saucers clanging away in the background. Movie people getting ready to go back to a world of illusions. Finally I asked the dreaded question. Is no more Who a reality now?
“Yeah”, he says hesitantly, “very much more. I can accept it now. I couldn`t two years ago. And the reason I think I can accept it now is because maybe we have done as much as we can do. It`s nothing to do with existing outside the Who. I could have done that years ago; we all could have, no doubt about that.
“It`s just you get to a point where maybe,” optimistic emphasis on the maybe, “maybe you`ve just done as much as you`re ever gonna do within that framework. That`s being really honest.”
But certainly you don`t want to believe that? “I keep telling myself it isn`t true,” Roger laughs returning to his more boisterous self, shedding the serious overtones. I`ll be in there fighting till the last bloody second but like I said, I could accept it now.”
Those are harsh words coming from, perhaps, the Who`s most dedicated fan, who through the years has continually spoken of the Who as some magical society, capable of possessing extraordinary powers. All of which is very true.
Several devout Who admirers expressed surprise over the band`s recent appearance at star-studded, Hollywood-type premieres held round the world to signal the opening of the film event of the year. Some disillusioned followers didn`t understand what Ann Margret, champagne and caviar had to do with rock.
“You`ve got to go in and say this is a film, it`s just bloody show biz. You`ve got to get into that head. It`s just a laugh, nothing more serious than that.
“Those premieres did Pete a lot of harm. He got all these paranoias about who the hell is going to like the Who now. I mean our fans still like us,” Roger says sincerely, almost trying to convince Townshend even though he`s not here. “The film ain`t important at all. It`s the Who that`s important.”
It is 1975 now and the Who have grown up. But so have the audience. `Quadrophenia` completed the circle. The Who must begin another circle or abandon the vehicle.
Lunchtime was over now. Roger Daltrey had to stop being a rock singer and become an actor again. The inflatable lady still wore red satin knickers and racy black lace. The space capsule was still plummeting towards earth. I thought about the Who survival. “Lola B flat” barked Ken Russell. It was really rather strange.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.
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ARTICLE ABOUT The Who FROM SOUNDS, July 20, 1974

When it comes to Rock Operas, it is difficult not to the mention the Who. Due to their success with those, they became a very visual band and that led them into the world of film. Here is a report from the set of “Tommy”.

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Jolly Roger

Penny Valentine meets the most expensive prop any film ever had, Roger Daltrey.

In about an hour`s time Roger Daltrey, attired in nothing more protective than a loin cloth that closely resembles a baby`s nappy, will be pinned inside a silver iron maiden and have over 100 butterflies crawling and fluttering all over him.
Right now it`s lunch break on the set of “Tommy”, Ken Russell`s latest extravaganza, and Daltrey – the man who humbly calls himself “the most expensive prop any film ever had” – is incongerously merry in his dressing room at the Ladbroke Grove film studios.
There aren`t too many people that, faced with the prospect of “things” crawling all over their bodies could lash into a steak with as much relish as Daltrey is now, or indeed be laughing about it at all. But then filming the Who`s prodigious musical under Russell`s extraordinary visual eye has, as I find out, been an excellent lesson in survival. Man against cameras and effects. Almost a film within a film.
It is not surprising that people report tales of Daltrey`s explosion three days into filming, when he turned round to those nearest and cried in desperation: “This is the first and bloody last film I make”. Russell likes his stars to come hardy.
First there was the saga of the filthy pond water being hosed all over Roger, complete, as it transpires, with the fish that were harmlessly lying on the pond bottom.

Then there was the moment when Daltrey was thrown on set as part of the action and unfortunately missed the mattress that was supposed to break his fall. The result of this was that Daltrey had concussion and was unconcious for seven minutes. At the end of which time our hero came round to feebly enquire: “Did you get that take, Ken?”.
The fact that Roger now boasts absolutely no hair on one arm shouldn`t worry anyone either. Just a little incident, I hear, of walking through banks of flames in a thin T-shirt.
Of course the rest of the set and crew were wrapped up in asbestos suits at the time. And Daltrey did weakly mutter, “I think I`m burning, Ken” before going into what he described as a “yoga like trance and oddly dancing over the broken glass and through the heat not feeling a thing”.
When you hear all that, and think that there`s only three of the fifteen weeks filming to go, perhaps it`s a little easier to understand why the prospect of being locked in with butterflies for a couple of days should hold no worries for Daltrey.
He`s really enjoying the process of filming – the novelty of it, the professionalism, the ability to create the role in yet another way. And he does look shatteringly well, tanned boot polish brown from the filming at “Tommy`s holiday camp”. He`s happy too that Russell is pleased with the way things are going and confident enough to offer him the starring role in his next epic on composer Franz Liszt. Certainly things couldn`t be going better for Roger Daltrey ex-sheet metal worker.

But like everything in life Daltrey`s glee is not 100 per cent infallible. Over lunch it`s apparent that all is not as well as it would appear and rumours that the Who are coming close to their millionth reported break-up is obviously having its usual effect.
For the last two years Daltrey has had this somewhat frantic desire to keep everything going at top rate all at once – of being offered chances he couldn`t turn down, but only doing them when it suited the band he clings on to like a lover. He has always jealously advocated the group`s right to be bigger and better than they`ve ever been. And it has always been Roger that has somehow tried to use the things he`s been offered outside the group to give them a kick into action when things looked like they were getting too quiet.
Today it`s questions about the next film – due to start in January – and maybe the recording of his own second solo album that seems to suddenly bring things to the fore. The fact that the progress of the Who has always been Roger`s biggest worry is not helped by the current rumours that Moon wants to go and live in America, and that Pete can`t decide whether he wants to keep going out on the road. And Daltrey really does need the Who more than maybe anyone realises. To him the band has always been his security, his jumping off board. To make films and solo albums – a rewarding and ego boosting experience though it may be – has really always taken second place to the band and the three guys in it.
The frustration at the situation right now is easy to see in Daltrey`s eyes. The fact that it`s something that has become harder to sort out privately but has to be done in the constant glare of public attention only makes the situation worse.
“Bloody news stories”, he suddenly says pushing away the half eaten steak. “Stupid bloody news stories. As far as the papers are concerned the Who have bloody well been breaking up since the day they formed. And this situation now – well it`s the same one that was going on last year. It`s just that we`re going through a difficult period. It`s not down to breaking up. Everytime the Who are a bit quiet that starts. But it`s not. It`s down to – where do we go from here?”

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And where DO they go from here?
“I think we`ve got to start thinking bigger than we have done. I think we`re going to do a TV special after this film – because once this film comes out believe me it`s going to make us important. I mean it`ll be bloody lunacy for the Who.
“But right now we need to go and record another album. A Who rock and roll album. “Quadrophenia” got blown out of all proportion. No, WE blew it out of all proportion.
“I thought `Quad` had that old Who thing but somehow it didn`t, it got lost again. It`s partly because we tried to do too much ourselves again and because we didn`t have a producer.
“And I think now`s the time we could all do a lot more in films. I mean we`ve got this one which, in Russell`s hands, is going to give us all another new dimension. I mean Moon for instance is fantastic in it. His Uncle Ernie is a bloody classic. No, I haven`t seen any of my own rushes yet, I don`t think I want to”.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand Roger…….
“Yeah, well we`ve wanted to do film things for the past four years and after this thing up and even if I do Liszt I`ll only do it if it says in the contract I can still work two days a week with the band. I mean we`ve GOT to work on the road and make more than one album a year. Otherwise it`s not the bleedin` Who, it`s a joke – like a session band.
“Look it`s not as upsetting as it could be because we`ve been through it all before and come out of it. It just gets me down when we play badly and those four nights we did in New York a couple of weeks ago weren`t good. Oh I mean the kids enjoyed it, but they`d have been happy if we`d got up there and farted. But there was only one night out of the four where we really played well and that`s just because we don`t work enough.
“Either we work or we don`t work. I`m not going on and on like this, because the Who are a bloody good band, they`re not a shit band.But we`ve got to stay on the ball. Gawd,” he sighs. “It`s at times like this that I wish the group wasn`t a name group. I wish we were small again so that we could just get on stage and gig. I think we should get out and play England in any little pissholes we can find”.

Daltrey has a habit of making you feel his frustration. Suddenly and strangely you`re getting as involved as he is, as worried that what he`s saying into a tape machine now is going to come out in cold print like a death knell. Good God y`ll what is happening here……?
But then maybe it`s not so strange. Ten years ago I looned out on Monday nights to The Scene Club to have my hand stamped in fluorescent ink and watch a band called the High Numbers. When, then, rock music was an exciting and unreliable child this band reflected it all. And that they became the Who and kept all that excitement is one of music`s more honourable hours.
Nostalgia may not be what it used to be, but the Who are definitely a band that hold a special place in everyone`s affections.
“Roger!” – the air of doom which suddenly hangs over our heads is whipped away by the entrance of the Who`s press brain, Keith Altham, bearing the trade papers. “It`s all conjecture” he says calmly. “After all how many other bands get involved in sole efforts and don`t split up. You`ve always had this “split” thing hanging over the Who right from the start – everything`ll be alright”.
Nice one Keith. Daltrey looks cheerier and starts leaping about getting ready for the afternoon`s shooting. Activily back to normal. Doug Clark comes breezing in to tell Roger he`s got to go to make up. Big next to Roger`s small brown frame, and with a creasing smile Doug is “Batman” to Daltrey`s “Robin”.

The stories start flowing again. The one about Moon getting so engrossed in his role as Uncle Ernie that where all the other actors used to filming – Oliver Reed, Jack Nicholson – could switch off their parts after a day`s work Moon couldn`t. And so Moon was Uncle Ernie morning, noon and night flashing raincoat and all.
The one about Roger having already started some background work into the life of Franz Liszt, discovering the fellow was pretty damn lary, and so christening him Franz Lust.
They reel out and we reel round some, I fear, just not printable here. But one of the best clean ones comes from Doug…
While they`ve been working in London some miles from the Daltrey manor house they`ve been staying in a penthouse on the 18th floor of a nearby hotel. One night last week, coming off set after ten hours solid slog, they staggered into the hotel in their T-shirts and jeans and went up to wash and change.
As they emerged from the penthouse lift, relates Doug, he was attacked by a frantic hotel employee who had leapt into the next lift and followed them up.
“Look here” he said grabbing Doug`s arm. “Don`t you realise that you building workers aren`t allowed up here on the 18th floor”.
Luckily the lead singer of the Who and the man about to immortalise Franz Liszt on celluloid was busy negotiating the lock on his room door and so was out of earshot.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: The Graeme Edge Band, Robin Trower, Man, Nigel Thomas, Chris Stainton, Chilli Willi, Robert Wyatt, J.J. Cale, Dobie Gray, Nazareth, Sonny Rollins, Druick and Lorange, The SHF Band.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Roger Daltrey (The Who) FROM SOUNDS, September 15, 1973

A very good insight into what was happening around the band before the release of “Quadrophenia”. Deserves to be read.
Ok, I will be off to Copenhagen this weekend, so I will see you around again on Monday with a very good article on a band who, among other things, drew attention to a machine for driving piles into the ground.

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The Thinking Man`s Who

Roger Daltrey talks to Rob Mackie about the new Who album, `Tommy` on film and much more

Behind the penetratingly blue eyes of Roger Daltrey is no kind of sad man. Roger has every reason to feel sour. In the first place, it`s criminal to have to leave a beautiful country home for the sweat of central London on the sort of day when the London papers are fond of exclaiming `Phew, what a scorcher!`
It`s one of those days that turns the other cheek around lunchtime, and slyly changes from being hot and sunny to being sweaty and brooding. On top of that, Roger has no sooner got to Track`s Windmill Street offices and parked than some dolt backs into his car leaving a few scratch marks on the shiny blue chrome.
However, a couple of cups of tea, and Roger`s soon revived and happy enough, turning a creaky wooden chair into a rocking chair somewhat perilously, in Track`s little downstairs studio, he chats about this and that in the multifarious activities of the Who, and sounds always like someone who knows what he wants, makes up his mind about it and sticks with it, making the best of the situation.
It`s true of the interview itself, and it`s true of the way Roger comes over physically and in what he says. He`s not one, for instance, to have a big pop star wardrobe full of flashy clothes. He seems to choose what suits him and leave the rest in the shops. Here he is in his `Best` T-shirt, which I seem to remember him wearing when he played “Tommy” at the Rainbow.
Since then, Roger`s become a star in his own right as well, and it`s typical that he did it with a good, clean straightforward set of… well, pop songs I suppose. Songs, anyway that everyone could understand, identify with and enjoy, not the `pandering to the masses` approach that pop has come to mean. Roger describes them as “Just good songs to hum in the loo.”

In “Quadrophenia”, Roger`s saddled again with his old `bad` role in the group, but I reckon an important part of his role in the group has been as a sort of anchor to keep the ship tied to a firm base through some of the more outrageous and at times unworkable schemes to have emanated from various and fertile Who brains.
Roger has enough common sense and confidence to know when to dig his heels in. I must be about the 101st person to tell him that surely “One Man Band” would be the best follow-up single to “Giving It All Away”, but Roger knows better, and I expect he`ll be proved right.
“Everybody`s said that,” said Roger, with a slight hint of exasperation, tipping his chair back a little more precariously than usual, but of course, maintaining his balance. “I`ve never thought that though. It`s just too obvious. The only reason I`m putting a single out now is because the record company wants one out. I`m not prepared to go on and record something just for a single, so they said they were taking one off “Daltrey”, and at least they`ve given me the opportunity to decide which one we`re going to use.
“I don`t think `One Man Band` will stand up to a lot of play, it`s so instant. You shouldn`t necessarily like a single first time. `Giving It All Away` took such a long time to grow on some people, that once it did, it was a good sign because a single has to stand up to so much airplay. That`s always assuming that `Thinking` is going to get a lot of airplay,” he adds with a laugh.
In case you don`t remember the title from the album, it`s the one which begins “I was just thinking about a girl,” and one of the songs that best shows how well Roger can build a song`s drama with his vocals, and without the aid of three madmen pounding away behind him as usual.

The difference meant being forced into a healthy change of outlook and attitude. “That whole album was feeling a way through and searching for something outside of the Who. I`m a rock and roll singer with what I think is the best rock and roll band in the world, and if I sing rock`n`roll, it belongs to that. With the band, I was getting into the state of thinking I knew exactly what to do with each song, when I did this, I put the Who out of my mind, and thought about different ways and techniques of singing, and after doing the Who`s album, which we`ve just finished, I know that it definitely has helped.
“The album that we`ve just done, the guy is a very mixed up, screwed-up kid, and I think I`ve managed to get that effect, just little differences, but I think it`s worked.”
So from one new solo role, playing himself, Roger`s been thrown straight into another alter ego, which will perhaps escalate and mushroom as much as “Tommy” has. Already, what was originally planned as half a double album has become an entire project with enough available Townshend songs to fill at least two double albums.
Roger`s role? “I`m the aggressive, nasty, mean, drink all the booze sort of job, John`s sensitive, Keith is the absolute madman, and Pete is the religious type – God if you like. My role? Yes I think it`s about right!” he chortles. “No it`s more as I was really, the album`s about the past – he`s on a boat and looking back at all the things he`s been through. Which is more or less what we`re doing now, trying to find a new direction.”
But Roger remains steadfastly behind the idea of quality rather than quantity. “We`re not the sort of band that can say `We`ve got to make an album, lads. Let`s go in the studio next week and bash out a couple of tunes.
“It`s not worth recording like that for a band like the Who. It would kill us. With us, it`s not just an album, but a whole thing to follow. It`s problems for us, but we thrive on them.”

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Will the quadrophenic Jimmy mushroom in the same way as “Tommy” has through the various media? Roger thinks that musically it`s better, but he`s a little worried, from the point of view that the subject matter may be a bit less universal.
“The Americans` idea of a mod is somebody wearing a bull`s eye T-shirt, which is not really what it`s all about, you know. It`s hard to think how other people are going to react to it, all it is at the moment is a lot of songs and some ideas. I haven`t even heard it as a total thing myself.
“Besides which, once we get it on the road, it develops. The kids made “Tommy” what it was, we didn`t. We made the record, and helped it on its way.”
Which brought us on to the “Tommy” film, about which Roger is thoroughly enthusiastic, even though it`s going to mean going over some old ground again. “I think it`s perfect for a film, and Ken Russell`s the perfect director. I promise you that will be the last thing we do to do with “Tommy”, though.
“I think `Tommy` can say a hell of a lot more than `Jesus Christ Superstar` has ever said, and Russell`s got a lot of good ideas.
The roles? “I`d like someone like Mick Jagger to play the pinball wizard. The mother`s really difficult… they`re all going to have to be really good professional people. I`d think of someone like Bette Midler. Moon`s playing Uncle Ernie of course, or if you like Moon`s playing Moon.
“It`s gonna be acting and singing, I think there`s about one spoken word, and all the instrumentals will just be visuals, which is all you need, and that`s why Russell will be so bloody perfect for it. His visuals will be some of the best I`ve ever seen.”
Needless to say, Roger will be Tommy, although there will also be a second Tommy for the childhood parts. The score is set to be started on January 1, and before then the Famous Who Tour, the first here for two years, may actually have taken place. The plans, which are still not finalised, are for the band to play about seven Northern gigs, hopefully including two each in Manchester and Newcastle, and then go to the States for 10 days, and come back and play four or five days in London.

After two years of busy seclusion, the Who are girding their loins to hit us on all fronts again. In what spare time he has had, Roger`s been slaving over his extensive home and garden, and is now in a condition of near athlete fitness that he feels is necessary for the sort of extended controlled energies that go into a series of Who concerts.
The thought of actually being on the road again brings out a mixture of strong emotions. “We`re frightened to death, but we know we`ll take it in our stride.
Roger doesn`t expect they`ll make much money from the English tour, but does expect a lot of fun.
We went upstairs for a quick preview of Quadrophenia`s own Pinball Wizard, a number called “5.15”, which will be backed with the stage number “Water”, for a pre-album taster.
I`m not really supposed to review it, but suffice it to say that when the Who said they were getting a little too ordered and smooth on “Who`s Next”, I didn`t really believe it until you compare this one, which builds from a subtle start to all the dirt and grit of yer archetypal `oo. It had Roger and I helplessly bopping in the offices, and should be coming your way in little more than a month.
We pored over some possible album sleeves as well, and it seems as sure as makes no difference that the front will be a stark, striking photo of a back-view mod on a flash mid-sixties scooter with fur on the back and all mod cons. A lot of its atmosphere comes from the ethereal misty smoke behind him, putting the whole thing somewhere between dreams and reality.
It sets the tone brilliantly – a look back at the frustrated angry pill-popper of “My Generation” with hindsight but without condescension. That`s the Who `73 really. Still fighting not to be establishment, still as different as air, earth, fire and water, still as similar as the four liths of an orange. And still the best living definition of that time-honoured term “rock`n`roll.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Dale Griffin, Roxy Music, Jess Roden, Billy Preston, Nick Mason, Home, Hemlock, Lou Reizner, Commander Cody, Elton John, Rolling Stones, Tony McPhee, America, Martin Carthy.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Roger Daltrey FROM SOUNDS, November 20, 1971

This is in my mind a very early article with the Who, but at this point in their career they had already released five studio albums. There would be five more before they officially disbanded at the end of 1983. Later on they reformed several times, and even released a new studio album in 2006, and have been touring the world ever since.
I don`t know if we will ever see a new studio album from them, but with two original members left of their original line-up, they are still a band worth seeing. Go catch them if you can!

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Daltrey`s Utopia in the wilds of Sussex

Penny Valentine talks to the world`s greatest mike thrower, Roger Daltrey

The world`s greatest mike thrower is feeding his horses – jeans tucked into boots, polo neck sweater, his hair blown in the cold autumn wind, a bucket in either hand. Looking as though he never does anything else.
To the cynical eye the scene wouldn`t look out of place in a smooth cigarette commercial, but in truth this is the easy relaxed life of Roger Daltrey for about five months of the hectic year.
Three or four years back Roger Daltrey wasn`t the sort of man you spent a cosy weekend with in the country. A city boy with an uneven temperament, he was known to be moody, explosive, subject to fits of depression. It made you feel ill at ease to be too long in the same room with him, and he had a way of fixing you with a baleful stare that would ice up the courage of the bravest man. Hence journalists, never known for their courage in the face of adversity, would steer away from him and it was rare that interviews with Daltrey would ever see the light of day.

NUTTY ONE

There was even something of a driving ambition in him then that was a lingering throwback from the very early Who days. In fact his personality appeared to be an embodiment of the Who that the public viewed on stage. Moon was always the nutty one. Townshend looked fiercer than he ever was, but it was Daltrey who wrapped up all the aggression and spit within his own character – a phenomena that caught fire directly the band set foot on stage in those days when the Marquee was specifically their breeding ground and home.
Today the problems that he fought so hard against then no longer exist – eradicated not only by his own hand and through a sense of financial security, but one feels more because at last he feels he belongs. He belongs in fact to the Who and that the set-up is not only incredibly successful but so stalwart a unit has given him a sense of personal security.
So that talking to him in front of a blazing log fire in his Sussex house, drinking tea before we go off to feed the animals, you realise he finds it almost impossible to talk in specific terms about himself. Everything he mentions is in general or part and parcel of the group. He says it`s because he doesn`t really think he`s of particular interest, and certainly the early ambition and the need to desperately rate attention and be up front has gone forever.

PEACE

Now his striving is only to be a better singer, not for himself, but the constant advancement of the band he loves:
“I don`t think I`ve ever been a really ambitious person in the sense of the word. Of course I`m always striving to be a better singer – I mean in the Marquee days I was bloody awful. Dreadful. I don`t know whether people noticed, I don`t know whether they notice now, but I know that really that`s what`s important to me.
“I think the Who as a group are important. I mean everyone is a good musician but I don`t think individually we`re that brilliant. If Pete or Keith left they`d only be half as good as they are with the Who.”
We talk about his new found peace and security, how at one time he might have headed a band of his own (“Oh, only in the early days when I was really out front with the Who certainly not any more. If anything happened to the band I`d get out for good.”) Earlier he`d proudly shown me round his beautiful Elizabethan house he bought six months ago just because he couldn`t resist it with its acres of gardens and lakes, its rose gardens and outhouses. Now he says that sometimes a sense of guilt creeps into him to have so much – in many ways an obvious reaction from a man who once only saw his own corner of life and never really viewed the world at large:
“I`m very very happy now but sometimes I wish I wasn`t quite so materialistic. I mean I have got that way and it worries me. I look round here and think what I`ve got and how little other people have.”
I point out that it`s the society we live in and that most of the people who accuse people of being materialistic are the ones who haven`t got anything to lose. “I suppose so,” he says thoughtfully. “Maybe it`s easier to give the world away when you`ve nothing to give.” But he falls quiet for a while and we have tea in near silence.

ROTTEN

In fact Daltrey has tried harder than most musicians to actually do something concrete to help others less fortunate than himself. There have been artists he`s taken in and tried to help and invariably become disillusioned with.
But it doesn`t stop him trying. He has an overwhelming concern for the under-dog, for the ill treated which manifests itself most in his attitude to animals. His horses were all rescued from the meat axe, and amongst the seven dogs that run rampant throughout the house one was left uncaringly by the previous owners. Crippled by rheumatism, Daltrey spent unsparingly on it to bring it back to health.
“People can be rotten miserable sods can`t they? Fancy just abandoning an animal like that. I often wish I could do more but I`ve really been kicked in the teeth lately and – well it puts you off for a while.
“There`s some very talented people around and I`ve thought that if I took their material worries away from them they might get on and do something about their work. So I`ve given them a roof and money and some good grub in their stomachs and you know what – they`ve just sat on their backsides for six months and done nothing. I can`t understand that, it beats me to be honest. I mean where do you go from there?”
Daltrey`s admiration for extremely talented people has always existed. He may have no aspirations of his own but his enthusiasm for others is boundless. It`s always been noticeable that he`s never written any Who tracks and the reason is basically that he feels Townshend is so brilliant an artist that it`s just not worth bothering about, anyway – he grins – he couldn`t write a song to save his life.

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When I last saw him a year ago he said that he thought the Who were finally established but that they still had a lot to do and a long way to go – does he feel they`ve achieved more in the past year?
“Well we`re still here and that in itself is something these days. We must be one of the few bands around that`s working all the time. I think we`ve progressed and I think that the last album helped a lot, it made a breakthrough for us if you like. I think the one sad thing about the last 12 months is that the Who film – yeah the ruddy Who film that everyone did so much talking about – never got off the ground. But we learnt from that.
“I mean basically it just wasn`t right that Pete should have had all that responsibility, it should have been put into the hands of someone who knew about the process of film making. Pete would be the first to agree with that. As it was he was left to do it practically alone. I mean, okay we all had our heads with him and the script was very good, but I think it was pretty obvious it wasn`t going to work.
“We are going to do a film though – a new one Pete`s got called `Guitar Farm` which Nick Cohn is going to write for us. He`s coming with us to the States and live with the Who first hand and then come back and lock himself up in a thought machine and get it going.”
The American tour kicks off in just over a week`s time and Daltrey grimaces at the thought:
“Not because of the gigs – for the two hours the Who are on stage it`s marvellous. It`s the other 22 hours in the States that are so bloody awful. I`m hoping this time over, which is the last time for a while because really we need a rest to get other things off the ground, `Won`t Get Fooled Again` will have broken new ground for us in America. You know last time we finally managed to drop `Summertime Blues` out of the act at long last. But we had to bring it back in because American audiences wouldn`t let us off stage until we`d played it.”
His constant references to “Won`t Get Fooled Again” pin-point how important he feels that album has been to the Who. As a band who have clung on in the meanest time and surfaced through musical trends galore to re-emerge bright and beautiful he thinks, he says, that album has been a landmark in their career:

DRAG

“It was certainly the best produced album we`ve ever done and you see it was good for us to work with other musicians for once. People like Nicky Hopkins, Dave Arbus and Leslie West are so good and it sparked something off within the band. Because Leslie played lead guitar it meant Pete could give himself more room and really come up with some incredible things. It lifted a lot of weight from his shoulders and gave him more freedom which he`s never had before.
“To be honest I think it was the first album we really enjoyed working on too – all the others turned out to be such a huge drag. We only just managed to get through `Tommy` without leaping out of the window. Yes, I agree, maybe the album did lack something that`s always been connected with the Who maybe on reflection it lacked pure ballads. But it`s given us the chance to get back to that or move on or incorporate the two, it`s given us the chance of progression which is the main thing.”

WILDS

When the US tour and all the hassles it entails is over Daltrey will be back to Sussex and all the things he loves – his American wife Ev and the chance to see his seven-year-old son by his former marriage, Simon, who is here this weekend. It`s a schizophrenic kind of life prevalent amongst most top musicians these days who, once they can afford to seem to scurry off to the wilds. Daltrey says he thinks that really it gives you a much better balance in life to split your existence in this way:
“I live here because I love it and because it`s the balance to the life I lead the rest of the time. I love touring and I love gigs with the Who, but I love being quiet and away from everything here too. I think, yes, it could be dangerous to just have this – I think you could get very stale. You`d stagnate after a while and feel you`d lost touch with reality. But in the same way it would be dangerous to live in the atmosphere I work in all the time and never have a sense of release.
“You see this way you get the best of both worlds and the addition of a good outlook. I can sit here and see what life was like two hundred years ago or more and I can go back into the city and see what`s happening and what`s going to happen in the future. It`s an opportunity for serious reflection.”
It`s dark by the time we get back from the horses. Too dark for Simon to sail the boat he`s just made, but Daltrey promises him a game.

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Roger Daltrey – the world`s greatest mike thrower – leading a life that is really a personal Utopia. His own man down in Sussex more perhaps than he ever is on stage however much he loves it, maybe just because up there with his fringes swinging and his body bathed in sweat and the spotlight picking out the effort in his face he is for a while frozen within an image. A human being with something to live up to and all those yards of mike cable to do it with.
“I suppose, yes, to a certain extent we`re all trapped by our images. I mean there are some nights when I just don`t feel like throwing a mike in the air, just as there are nights when Mooney doesn`t feel like throwing his sticks at someone – so we don`t. But then you`ve got to remember that audiences expect that, that`s really what they`ve come to see. And we`re not always the same – the only reason people think we are is that for some weird reason we get reviewed about every week we`re on tour. You see really we`re just a rock and roll band. That`s all.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ray Charles, Marc Bolan, Bell & Arc, Ornette Coleman, Rory Gallagher, Paul McCartney, Felix Pappalardi, Van Morrison, Mr. Fox.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

 

ARTICLE ABOUT The Who from New Musical Express, August 9, 1975

This is the kind of interview that you don`t see too often these days. Today a band of The Who`s magnitude would be surrounded by managers, press agents or people from the record company that would control everything being said. Such honesty as revealed in this article would simply not be allowed. And probably for the better, as it would break up most bands. The Who are still an ongoing entity with Pete and Roger in the band. Quite interesting really, considering the odds after the articles published in 1975. Have a nice read!

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A few weeks ago Pete Townshend, in an interview with NME, got all hot and steamy and despairing about his role with The `Oo – and about The `Oo themselves. This week Roger Daltrey, also in an exclusive NME interview, returned Pete`s fire – with interest. And after this furious exchange of invective, the question on all our lips is: can The `Oo survive…in any shape or form at all?

Tape Op: Tony Stewart Camera: Joe Stevens

Who`s Last?

Just how do you conduct yourself when interviewing a man who`s destined to become A Living Legend?
Do you ensure your shoe laces are tied, your hair`s neatly brushed and that your breath smells sweetly? And then humbly sit opposite your subject, dutifully silent as you wait to hear his proclamations?
Or perhaps you just take along a bucket and spade in case the Centaur – as his latest album sleeve depicts him – craps on the rug.
After all, this is how Polydor are promoting Roger Daltrey.
The Centaur photograph exploits all the romanticism of Greek Mythology to intimate Daltrey is A Living Legend, as well as incorporating the sexual blatancy of the classic Satyr – the lustful beast which is reputed to be part man, part goat. But moulding the hindquarters of a goat onto Daltrey`s fine torso would project a considerably less virile image than those of a stallion.
Look at the shot closely, and you`ll see my (or his) point.
“It`s nothing to do with me mate,” Daltry asserts. “I can never consider that. I wish I could become Charlie Bloggs. I`m pissed off with it, because I feel it`s not me. I`m not A Living Legend. A lot of old bollocks. It`s all half-truths and I don`t really want to be associated with that kind of thing.

“I don`t really want to be A Pop Star, believe it or not. I`d like to have successful records, but that`s it. And I`d very much like never to do any more interviews or anything.”
Gee thanks, Roger.
“Well, you know, the occasional one. I suppose it`s the price you have to pay.”
Yes. But Roger also has an ulterior motive in talking to us, and that`s to answer Pete Townshend`s attack on The Who, carried in a recent NME article.
Stick around because the dirt flies like a sand storm.
Somehow though, you just can`t come to terms with Daltrey`s new image. Here he is, in the Goldhawk Record company offices in London, sandwiched into a comfy chair between a filing cabinet and a stack of audio equipment, taking large hungry bites out of a pear, causing juice to trickle down his chin, the flow of which increases as he tries to talk with his mouth full.
His moods change faster than a streetful of Belisha beacons, going from Sullen to Friendly, and from Aggressive to Rationally Polite. And invariably he`ll laugh at his own moods, throwing his head back and roaring like a triumphant bar-room brawler.
You could describe him as an earthy streetboy.

The interview, though, comes at an appropriate juncture. Sessions for the new Who album, “The Who By Numbers”, have just finished, and after our rap Daltrey will go off to hear the final mixes.
“I`m really pleased with it,” he says, chewing on the pear. “One song particularly, called `Imaginary Man` I think is the best song Pete`s ever written. There`s a few mysteries in there, but it`ll be a good album.
“The shape and form of it is similar to `Who`s Next` with a lot of varied material unlike `Quadrophenia` which was really one vein. But I don`t know what it`s going to do, because I don`t know what people are expecting.
“I think it`s going to be surprising.
“There`s not been a lot of style change at all. How can we? Moon still plays like Moon, John still plays like John, Pete still plays like Pete, and I still sing like me.
“The only time that we really change is after extensive touring, never when we`re in the studio.”
Yet the conversation doesn`t dwell on the album for long, as it`s quite apparent Daltrey wishes to discuss another topic. Like the Townshend feature.

“I never read such a load of bullshit in all my life,” he comments, angrily. “To be perfectly honest, it really took a lot of my Who energy out reading that. Because I don`t feel that way about The Who, about our audiences or anything in that way.
“It was an unbelievably down interview. And I still haven`t come out of it properly yet.
“I`ve talked to fans,” he continues, “and I think Townshend lost a lot of respect from that article. He`s talked himself up his own ass. And there are quite a lot of disillusioned and disenchanted kids about now.”
(In fact the tone of Townshend`s rap was itself disillusioned. He was highly critical of the band as a working unit, their audience and even of their future. In his introduction to the piece Roy Carr admirably precised the prevalent attitude the Axe man expressed.
“Pete Townshend didn`t die before he got old. Yet death isn`t his problem, it`s the passing of the years and his current position in what he feels is a younger man`s occupation”.
But that`s not 32-year-old Daltrey`s chief beef about the article. “My main criticism,” he elaborates, “was the generalisation of saying the Who were bad. The Who weren`t bad. I think we`ve had a few gigs where Townshend was bad… and I`ll go on record as saying that.

“I think we had a few gigs where under normal circumstances we could have waltzed it. We could have done Madison Square Gardens with our eyes closed, only the group was running on three cylinders. Especially the last night.
“You don`t generalise and say the Who was bad,” he stresses, his rage stronger now. “Because The Who wasn`t bad. Wasn`t quite as good as we could have been, but it was because Townshend was in a bad frame of mind about what he wanted to do. And he didn`t play well.
“Sure, we all have our off nights. But don`t go round saying the Who was bad.”
Did Pete sound like a Rock And Roll Martyr to you?
“Yes. Very much.
“You`re putting words in me mouth, ain`t ya?” He laughs.
Well sure. But only if there`s room with the pear.
“Right. That`s the impression I got. And it riles me when he generalises it to say the Who weren`t playing well. The Who can play as well as they ever did, if we can get down to it and take it for what it is. He`s just trying to make the Who something it isn`t.
“I can understand his musical frustration,” he continues. “He must be so far ahead now with just writing songs for The Who. But surely if The Who isn`t a vehicle to get those frustrations out he should find another vehicle.

“But use the Who for what it is. A good rock `n` roll band, that`s all. And one that was progressing.”
Was?
“I say was because we haven`t done anything for such a long time. Hopefully when we get back on the road we`ll still progress. But if we have any more statements like that I don`t see how we can. Cos I know it`s taken a lot of steam out of me and I`m sure it did with the others.”
But Roger you said, was progressing, which strikes me as a rather strange comment to make just as you complete a new album.
“I`m just talking about the road side of it,” he clarifies.
“I mean, we are still progressing. We`re never really The Who in the studio. That`s one of the difficulties getting records made with the band. There was a lot wrong, but we rectified it on this album. We all got stuck in and made a record.
“But there`s not a lot of room for a group because it`s becoming more and more dominated by Pete. It`s very hard to make a group contribution outside of what you actually do in the band. Outside of me just singing, for instance.
“John seems to do alright at it – but every suggestion I make I just get laughed at.
“But I can live with that. I don`t care if I`m just the singer anyway.”

On this point, though, it was Townshend who complained he had to bear too much responsibility for The Who. There was, he bemoaned, too much pressure on him.
“There`s all sorts of problems going down at the moment that have got bugger all to do with the music side of it,” counters Daltrey, “which is usually lumped on my bloody shoulders. But I don`t ever complain about it.
“I agree that because he`s been the mainstay songwriter of the band he`s obviously going to be under that pressure. But I think he enjoys that. As far as going on the road goes I don`t think he`s under any more pressure than any of us, really.”
Townshend`s argument – just to refresh your memories – was also that because the other three guys heavied him into the studio any songs he`d written for a solo album would be snapped up by them. And inadvertently he seemed to be moaning about the fact that Daltrey, Entwistle and Moon could work solo – but that he never saw his own efforts come to fruition – because of The Who.
Daltrey does feel it would be a good thing for Townshend if he did record a solo album, but denies it was impossible because of The Who situation. “You see, I think if he made a solo album he would get some of the musical frustrations out which he can`t accomplish with The Who. Because he can do fucking incredible stuff that The Who`ll never do. They just haven`t got that sort of scope.

“That`s why solo LPs are nice to do. They let your head run riot for a while.
“And I don`t see why he couldn`t have done his own album before this Who set, because I can`t see this one getting released for ages because we`ve got so many problems, outside of just the music. Then The Who would have had second choice.
“And I don`t see it would have hurt The Who.”
“I think we needed this year break. We need to sort certain things out. Like, two months ago it looked as though we weren`t ever going to record again – and now at least we`ve made another record. And I really want to get back on the road.
“I just don`t feel I`m in a group unless we`re playing on the road. It feels like you`re just another session man.”
He pauses, having said his piece.
“Want a cup of tea?” he inquires politely.
Snippets of Daltrey`s rap keep flashing up on the brain`s screen like trailers at the cinema. And it could just be possible that`s yet to come.
At intervals he`s made oblique, but apparent, references to some kind of internal problems other than musical that are having a detrimental effect on The Who`s well-being.
Something seems greatly amiss.

But as the mugs of tea are handed round – and you`ll be glad to know Centaurs do have sweet teeth, because Daltrey started to crunch sugar cubes. Roger seems reticent to divulge the relevant information.
“There`s just certain things going down at the moment,” he does proffer, not particularly helpfully. “You`ll probably hear the whole story in about two month`s time.”
Can`t we hear it now?
“I can`t. There`s a lot of litigation going on between our record company and our management and everything else.”
A clue. But not exactly a scoop.
With a little gently prodding he does, however, begin to open up, revealing in unguarded terms there is, er, disagreement between the Who and their management.
“If we were free now to do what we wanted to do we`d have our record out in the first week of October and we would be touring England in the third week of October and the first week of November. And we`d be off to the States in the second week of November, then back here for some Christmas shows.” He comes out with a series of anecdotes which, due to the laws of libel, I can`t repeat. Worse luck.
“If the record doesn`t come out I don`t know what`s going to happen.
“We could still tour – but we wouldn`t tour with a new act because it`s hopeless trying to play people unfamiliar material. It`s like, the worst thing any band can do. Even if it`s vaguely familiar. Like Elton John at Wembley playing `Captain Fantastic`.
“It didn`t work.

 

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“I wouldn`t mind touring with the old stuff. But that`s what it`ll have to be.”
Any dates pencilled in?
“There are, but I can`t even talk about them because it`s so vague at the moment.
“Maybe it will sort itself out and it`ll go ahead, but I can`t really see it somehow. It`s probably gonna be December before we actually get on the road. The way things are going, and the lack of decisions and various things.”
Christ. Some Main Feature, huh?
Going back to That Townshend Feature – and considering all Daltrey has just said – it does seem somewhat unfair Peter Meter should blame Daltrey`s involvement in “Lisztomania” for holding up the recording of the new album. Which he did.
“Obviously he doesn`t want to talk about these other problems in the Press,” suggested Roger quite rationally. “I do it reluctantly, but I suppose it`s got to come out at one time.
“I can see if it does happen then I`m gonna come out as The McCartney Of The Piece. But there again, what do you do? You can`t live on lies forever. But the last thing in the world I want to do is break The Who up. Anything I can do to stop that happening…I`ll do.
“Now The Who have acted.” (Daltrey`s referring to the legals). “But I don`t know how long I could have gone on without them acting. I really don`t.

“If the legal hassles hadn`t been going on, yeah, then Liszt would have held up The Who recording for three months. Which isn`t a long time.
“I know it was a drag for The Who, and I don`t ever really want it to happen again. But there was nothing I could have done about it.
“As it`s worked out, it didn`t really matter anyway.”
Perhaps at this stage it`d be useful to clarify one or two other matters with so many insinuations whizzing around. Roger, how important is The Who to you then?
“Obviously very important,” he responds immediately. “I mean it`s part of me life, and it`s the last ten years of me life.
“I can accept the fact now it`s not going to go on forever. That`s for sure. You do start to see the boundaries. But I just don`t ever want to give up.
“The Who comes before anything really. It didn`t come before Liszt but it was a group thing. I said, `What do I do?`
“I think Liszt will do The Who good as well. That`s one of the main things in my mind about it, because people – especially in the States – are gonna start thinking I`m Tommy. And I`m not Tommy. I don`t think `Tommy` is – The Who`s best piece of work.

“Liszt is a quick way of showing people that I ain`t Tommy. Which is, at least, a start in destroying that whole `Tommy` stigma.”
But again, when discussing his career in the movies, Daltrey is prone to relate it to his musical pursuits and his role with The Who. For instance, working with Russell, he says, has given him a better understanding of PT`s song writing. “Ken is very similar to Pete,” he explains. “He`s very visual and thinks all the time. But unlike Pete I can talk to Ken. And he`ll explain how he sees a situation to me, and I`ve got a terrific rapport with him.
“Unfortunately me and Pete have never actually got on, on that level. But I find now it`s not so important, because just working with Ken so much has taught me a lot about getting into things in the way I think you should.
“It`s given me a lot more confidence.
“If you can`t communicate on a talking level with someone, and you just go on feelings, and he`s given you a sheet of lyrics and you`ve got a demo to work with, then you need quite a lot of confidence.”
At this point, however, Daltrey is understating his turbulent relationship with Townshend because, as our conversation unfolds – covering The Who`s music and the sheer aggression and frustration it incorporates – it`s necessary for Roger to explain why this should be such an overt facet. And in doing so he reveals considerably more about the personality structure of the band.

“It`s probably because we`re so different,” he says, “and don`t particularly get on that well outside the band. I don`t want to be in a group with anybody else, although if I could choose three friends to go about with it wouldn`t be those three.
“It`s a very weird situation, but it does lead to frustration. But it`s always worked because it`s led to creating something.”
And also led, it should be noted, to fights. On occasion.
“Yes. On occasion.” Agrees Daltrey.
Well, your knuckles aren`t bruised so the recording sessions must have gone well.
“Look!” He cries, laughing, and holding up his right fist. “Look at that!”
He displays one severely swollen and purple set of knuckles.
“No, no, no. We didn`t have any fights at all,” he points out. “That`s a mosquito bite. Believe it or not.”
A likely story.
“No. We didn`t have any fights this time. We had fights in `Quadrophenia`.”
Tell us more.
“I`ve only ever had one fight with Pete and that was during `Quadrophenia`. It was a bit of a shame because it was a non-argument, and the last thing I wanted to do in the world was to have a fist fight with Pete Townshend.

“Unfortunately”, he adds petulantly, “he hit me first with a guitar. I really felt terrible about it afterwards. What can you say? Pete should never try and be a fighter.
“But when he was being held back by two roadies and he`s spitting at me, calling me a dirty little cunt and hitting me with his guitar I become quite angry. And I was forced to lay one on him. But it was only one.”
That was sufficient?
“Well,” he roars with laughter, “when he came out of hospital…”
But according to Daltrey there has always been a clash between him and Townshend – with Entwistle and Moon as mediators. And perhaps for this reason Daltrey is able to contend with being laughed at in the studio when he makes suggestions.
“Like I say,” he explains, “I can put up with being just the singer. It doesn`t really bother me that much. It`s just one of those things that make you feel – what`s the word? – makes you feel a bit of a misfit.
“But I`ve always felt a bit of a misfit in the Who. That`s another reason why solo things are good for me.”
Cue. Change of reel, and subject.
Everything seemed to be going well for Roger Daltrey, the solo artiste.
He`s now grabbed himself a prestigious slice of the Movie Biz by doing the films “Tommy” and “Lisztomania” – with another, of which he`ll reveal nothing except he has to have his hair cropped, on the starting blocks.

Even his solo-singing career had an auspicious debut, with the excellent “Daltrey” album, “Ride A Rock Horse”, however, isn`t too good.
The vocal performance is good, the musicianship is good, OK, but the material just doesn`t have that stamp of quality.
And to date, business has not been brisk with the set, which is certainly not the kind of sequel one would expect (either artistically or sales-wise) following his first album.
“I`m pleased with it,” comments Roger. “I like it. But then I`m bound to, ain`t I?
“It`s a very American kind of album and it`s not particularly the English people`s taste. But that was intentional. I aimed it at America.
“Maybe I aimed it too much at America.”
Perhaps, though, Daltrey, who as a prominent British vocalist would have the world`s established writers scrambling over each others` backs to get him to use their songs, has taken even more of a chance with the material than he did with the first set. Once again, he`s used unestablished writers (like Leo Sayer was).
“I know it`s a gamble and maybe this time it hasn`t paid off, but I`m gonna carry on doing it.
“It`s just that I get so many kids coming to with songs – and they`re not all good – but occasionally you get the good ones, and I think it`s worth taking a gamble. Maybe I`ve picked the wrong numbers this time… I don`t know. Obviously I haven`t in America. It`s in at 60 this week.
“With a bullet.
“So my judgement`s right somewhere.

“I just remember the days when I would have done anything for a helping hand. If I can help somebody who can`t get a look in elsewhere… then it`s a valid thing to do.”
Not, I wouldn`t have thought, if the album bombed, along with Daltrey`s sole reputation.
Polydor (who can improve your image as Charles Atlas helped build your body) do seem to be putting the big promo wheels in motion. This when discussed, moves onto Roger`s own reluctance to be drawn into the area which he describes as “poshlust”.
“But that`s the business, I suppose,” he remarks mildly. “I don`t suppose kids want to buy records wrapped up in paper bags. They want a bit of glamour.
“You do need your Jaggers and Rod Stewarts, but they`re trying to make me into one, and I`m not. And I never will be.”
Just why is he in the business in the first place then?
You guessed it. “Cos I sings in a band called the `Oo and I likes it. And That Is It.”
But according to Townshend (in That Feature) Daltrey would like to believe rock and roll was “making records, pullin` birds, getting pissed and having a good time.”
“That” retorts Daltrey disgustedly, “just shows he doesn`t understand me at all. Because that proportion of my life which is devoted to that kind of living is such a minimal proportion. If he thinks that`s what rock and roll is to me he must be kidding.

“Just coz I don`t live in a studio like he does doesn`t mean to say I don`t like rock and roll much.”
He pauses.
“There`s a terrible battle going on between me and him, ain`t there?”
In fact you could say this last quote of Townshend`s proves to weigh heavily on Daltrey`s mind. It isn`t until near the end of the interview when he decides to elaborate on the point.
“I`m just thinking about what he said,” he said. “That I`d like to believe that rock and roll was birds, booze and fun. The naivete of that is that the last few bad gigs the Who did were, in my opinion – apart from his head trip – bad because they were physically out boozing and balling all night. And by the time it got to the show at night they were physically incapable of doing a good show.
“So… put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Was that all of you?
“No. That was Townshend. Moon does it, but he can control it. On a few of the last gigs Townshend was pissed and incapable.”
Now Daltrey`s anger is rising.
“So don`t talk to me about booze, because I`ve never been onstage drunk in the last seven years, Mr. Townshend! I don`t know if you`ve ever noticed, maybe he hasn`t but I have. I remember every show we`ve ever done!

“I`m just getting a bit fed up with these left-handed attacks.”
And now he`s retaliating.
“One of the sad things is that Pete and I are probably never gonna be able to communicate,” he explains coolly. “I think I`ll have to sit down and write a letter to the band, because there`s no way of ever speaking to them about it.”
Jesus. What`s the future going to bring then?
Maybe Daltrey is outspoken, vitriolic and often enraged by the circumstances surrounding The Who, and yet underneath it all runs a deep devotion for the band. He may criticise Townshend for what he describes as “pathetic” guitar playing on one gig, and yet he`ll get back up on stage and work with him again.
“The only other way is to give up, init?
“From my point of view… I think I`ve got better on stage in the last six years… and it really frustrates me that the people who were heads, hands and feet above me before are starting to fall by the wayside. I think it`s unnecessary.
“That`s why i want to get back on the road and do it. Because I know they can do it.
“And if they don`t, then the Who breaks up. We`re not a government. It`s only a rock and roll band, after all.
“It`ll be a terrible shame and a lot of people will be disgusted with us for letting it break up. But what can you do?
“In a way,” he continues, “I don`t mind if the Who do finish, because I think we`ve done a helluva lot and I`d hate to see it fizzle. I`d hate to see anything mediocre come out by The Who.”
And in a more dis-spirited moment he comments: “If I feel I`ve come to the stage where I can`t give anymore into rock, and I can`t do the things I like, then I might as well take up acting.
“I might as well.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own  webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Gary Holton, Rod Stewart, Colosseum, Aston Barrett, Isaac Hayes, Mike Gibbs, Tim Hinckley.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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