The Who: Roger Daltrey talks 50th Anniversary tour and beyond

Posted by Rebecca Tremblay


Roger Daltrey is clarifying comments made in London last week by Pete Townshend that The Who will perform a 50th anniversary world tour in 2015, which he said will be “the last big one for us.”

“I think you have to clarify what he said, and what we mean is we cannot keep going on doing these month-after-month, long, extended tours,” Daltrey tells Billboard. “It’s extremely hard, hard work, just the grind of it. So we have to be realistic. The band got better reviews on our last tour (the 2012-13 Quadrophenia & More trek) than we had for years. It was incredibly enjoyable. It was incredibly exhausting, and we have to be realistic about our age.”

“But it’s not going to be the last thing The Who will do,” continued Daltrey. “We’re going to be doing events. We’re going to be doing shows. We might do other things, more experimental. We might decide to do something in a theater, some small production where we sit down for two or three weeks in one town; that could be managed ’cause we’re not schlepping our bodies from city to city. The joy of the stage is wonderful, but the traveling every day is exhausting.”

Daltrey also promises that The Who will continue to be available to play for good causes – including the Teenage Cancer Trust in the U.K. and the Teen Cancer America initiatives he’s helped launch.

“We’ve always been there for charity shows,” he says. “The Who has always been there from the very beginning when people were in trouble and need a band for a charity show. We’ve always been there, and that’s not going to change.”

Daltrey adds that the prospect of reaching a 50th anniversary (the group formed in 1964 and released its first singles and album the following year) is not something he and Townshend take lightly. “Any band who survives in this business that long, it’s extraordinary,” he says. “With the crap in this business and that we had to deal with, it’s remarkable that we survived at all. We’ve lost two of us (Keith Moon and John Entwistle) and the Rolling Stones lost one (Brian Jones). It’s remarkable that any of us survived.”

On November 11, The Who will release multiple versions of their 1969 masterpiece, “Tommy”, including a Deluxe Edition and Super Deluxe Box Set.

These new versions of the album come with a wealth of previously unheard material in the form of 20 demos from Townshend’s archive and also a full live performance of “Tommy” from 1969 taken from tapes that infamously Townshend asked the band’s sound engineer to burn, as the guitarist wrote about in his 2012 autobiography, “Who I Am.”