Roger Daltrey On Risking His Health To Please The Who Fans

The Who gears up for another roadshow with their ‘The Who Hits Back’ tour kicking off this week. So, in a recent interview with Classic Rock, the vocalist Roger Daltrey shed light on the upcoming gigs and his personal journey as a singer, claiming that it could be a ‘nightmare.’

During the chat, Daltrey expressed his belief that the success of their shows largely resulted from the quality of their performances and suggested that his singing was at its peak. When questioned about his last statement, the vocalist also opened up about the hardships of his role.

Daltrey shared:

“Listen, I’m very honest about it when I’m not singing well. I had a vocal problem about ten years ago, which was a pre-cancerous thing, and I did have a few tough shows. That was hard. But the brutality of being on the road is that you’ve got a show booked, and the audience is out there, and if you’re not feeling up to the mark on the day, what do you do… send them home?

It’s a nightmare business in that sense, and the singer is always in the frontline. You’re still expected to go on with a cold or the flu, but ultimately you’re only going to damage yourself. But if I stop singing well, I’ll stop singing, simple as that. It’s not the singing I’m worried about, though; it’s the traveling because that’s no fun at all in this country! But we should be used to that by now, right? See you out there.”

The talk touched on the vocalist’s health and possible retirement when the interviewer asked him whether ‘the end’ was near. According to his words, Daltrey doesn’t think about retiring at the moment, although he has ‘realistic’ plans for the future.

Here’s his answer to the question:

“I don’t think about it. Obviously, I’m realistic, and there are things in my life that I have to make decisions on in the next few years, but we’ll see. So, like, I’ve been doing these charity shows at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer Trust, and next year will be my 23rd year with that, and to carry on doing it, I’ll have to sign another five-year contract with the Albert Hall. And I don’t know if I’m going to be around in five years!”

Talking about what the band has done and what comes next, he continued:

“So I have to make decisions to ensure that it’s something manageable for me that I know I can deliver. I’m hoping that some of the popular people in this industry will want to take up the baton and curate nights. Twenty-two years ago, when I took this on, I was younger and up for the challenge, but I had to sign a lease for 22 years to guarantee me those weeks of shows every year.

I’ll still be a patron for the charity and still going out speaking on the charity’s behalf, but I have to consider the timeframe, obviously. We’ve achieved something incredible, we wanted to build 25 hospital wards around the country for teenagers with cancer, and we delivered on that promise: in fact, we’ve built 30. It’s been an incredible ride.”

The European leg of ‘The Who Hits Back’ will take off in Spain on June 14. During the tour, Daltrey and Pete Townshend will be accompanied by a full orchestra onstage.