Roger Daltrey is happy to be on the road with his solo band — especially in the face of Covid, which nearly crippled the touring industry.
Daltrey's solo backing band includes Pete Townshend's brother, guitarist Simon Townshend and Simon's son Ben on drums. Daltrey chatted with Scotland's The Herald and explained, “If I do any Who songs we’ll do them completely differently from the way the Who do them, just to explore them. . . But the most important thing is I’m going to be employing 20 people, 10 of them musicians who have been out of work for two-and-a-half years.”
When pressed as to why Daltrey has dubbed the trek, “Who I Was” — he laughed and said, “Because the longer the lockdown went on the more I wondered who the f*** I was. It was driving me insane. You’ve got to remember we’ve been gypsies all our lives, travelled the whole world, then we’re shut up for two years. There was a huge part of me missing, which is the part of me that gets on a stage and sings. There’s something in me that seems to have to do that, or transmit whatever I’m thinking and touch people with the voice I was given as a gift. Unless you’ve done it, it’s very difficult to explain.”
Daltrey went on to say, “The last two-and-a-half years haven’t been easy. I didn’t think we would ever go back. But now we are and I’ve got my solo thing coming up which was postponed from last year, then the Who are touring again in October. I’m really happy to be doing it because I know it can’t go on for too much longer. Singers can’t change the strings and I don’t want to go out and be mediocre.”
Roger Daltrey continues to tour on his own and play charity gigs as much as possible. He admits that at this stage of the game — especially with Who shows looming in the not too distant future — he physically needs to sing as often as he can: “If I ever stopped singing, I wouldn't be able to do this, so I just make sure I just keep singing, keep the voice in. You've got to keep doing it, especially singing like the way I sing. I could do some serious damage if I stop, so I've just gotta keep going.”