The Who are back in The States busy rehearsing for the opening night of their North American tour, which kicks off on Friday night (April 22nd) in Ft. Lauderdale. Pete Townshend's wife, Rachel Fuller, posted footage of the band running through “Who Are You” at an unnamed soundstage.
Roger Daltrey, who turned 78 last month, spoke to The Palm Beach Post and admitted, “I can still hit the notes. They’re still there. Townshend's songs are incredibly demanding for a singer. They’re lyrically complicated, there's never two songs together in the same key, so it's moving about all over the place, and it takes a lot of stamina. Just like Mick Jagger — I’ve got so much respect for Mick, he’s incredible. And you just have to train.”
When discussing the key line from the Who's 1965 classic “My Generation” — “I hope I die before I get old” — Daltrey said, “I still do. I think it’s a state of mind, age. I’ve met young people who seem to be incredibly old in their mind, and I’ve met old people that are incredibly young. You can’t measure age in years; you can’t measure a lifetime in years. A life is a life.”
Daltrey revealed that the Who still has a unique relationship with its fans: “They turn up at my door here. I always try to make them welcome. I’ve seen a lot of stars have their bodyguards, and they push the fans away. I’ve never been on that page. I don’t like that at all. They put you where you are. They pay your rent. You've got to be there for them.”
Although rock stars don't get much bigger than Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend — Daltrey said he's been known to get starstruck: “I get very nervous. It’s really funny. . . Not so much around all the guys I’ve known from the beginning — Paul McCartney and Ringo (Starr) and all those people — we’re all mates, and it’s different. But if I met someone I’ve been a fan of a very long time, even today, I go back to that little kid again. It’s too late to meet Johnny Cash; he’s the only one I would have liked.”
Daltrey added: “I’m glad I didn’t meet Elvis (Presley), cause I would have been disappointed. The time that I had the possibility of meeting him, he was past his best. I'd rather carry his memory with me, which is fantastic.”
Roger Daltrey says that due to the tour's multiple screens on and around the stage projecting specially-made films for most of the show's songs, changing the set list from night to night is nearly impossible: “We're kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place on this issue of changing songs around. Especially since as our catalogue is so huge, we're never going to please everybody. And the new show that we're working on at the moment on the road, there's more than just the music. There's the screens as well, 'cause it has to tie up with the lights. When you're on the road with the kind of show we're doing, arenas, it's like an army, everybody has to know what their thing is.”