Pete Townshend Explains Why Roger Daltrey Kept His Girlfriend Away From Jimi Hendrix
The Who guitarist and co-lead vocalist, Pete Townshend, spoke to the new issue of Classic Rock magazine. In his interview, Townshend shared untold details about the recording process of ‘The Who Sell Out’ and revealed that Roger Daltrey couldn’t come to the studio, which they shared with Jimi Hendrix, because he didn’t want to lose his girlfriend.
The Who released its third studio album ‘The Who Sell Out’ on December 15, 1967. The album got very positive reviews and was regarded as the band’s best record so far. Also, Jimi Hendrix recorded and released his most popular and successful albums, ‘Are You Experienced’ and ‘Axis: Bold as Love’ in the same year. So, both the success and production process of The Who and Hendrix coincided, including their recording studio.
The recording sessions often drew more attention than ‘The Who Sell Out’ itself due to a possible love triangle between the band’s lead singer Roger Daltrey, his girlfriend Heather Taylor, and Jimi Hendrix. Taylor had a relationship with Hendrix, who wrote ‘Foxy Lady’ for her, before she met with Daltrey. Thus, sharing the same studio with his girlfriend’s ex-lover made Roger Daltrey very stressed and uncomfortable.
Townshend remembered the recording of ‘The Who Sell Out’ during his recent interview and highlighted the absence of the band’s lead singer. He claimed that Daltrey didn’t join the recording sessions very often because he was probably afraid of Hendrix convincing Taylor to get back together if they saw each other again. Therefore, Daltrey tried to keep his girlfriend away from Hendrix while The Who was working on their third studio album.
Daltrey said in his interview that:
“Jimi Hendrix was using the studio on the days that we weren’t in there and at that time Roger’s girlfriend, Heather, who became his wife, had been seeing Jimi. I don’t know whether or not this is turning into sort of silly gossip, but I think he wasn’t around as much as he would normally be. He used to enjoy being in the studio, and suddenly he was gone…
I was finishing the songs as I was finishing the vocals, imagining that Roger would come in and replace mine. But he just wasn’t there. I think it had something to do with him being concerned about Jimi Hendrix stealing his girlfriend. I think Heather is the redhead Hendrix wrote ‘Foxy Lady’ about, so I think there was some intrigue going on there.”
Roger Daltrey and Heather Taylor tied the knot in 1971 and since then they have been pursuing a very happy and intimate relationship. So it can be said that Daltrey’s fear about Hendrix stealing his girlfriend became an unforgettable memory both between the couple and the members of The Who.