The Lowest Point Of The Who Singer Roger Daltrey’s Career Caused By Pete Townshend

The Who is considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, and they have inspired many iconic bands with their music, including the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day and Panic! at the Disco. Queen’s Brian May has also referred to The Who as one of their favorite bands. They achieved international success throughout their career and sold over 100 million records.

The lineup consisted of Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon, all of whom enjoyed mainstream fame and appreciation. However, there was a point in the band’s career that put every member into despair and shook their lives. Daltrey talked about this specific event and described it as the ‘lowest point of his career.’

Pete Townshend Was Arrested On Child Pornography Charges

The Who guitarist and singer Pete Townshend was arrested for entering and paying for child pornography websites in 2003. He was taken into custody as the officials found out that he had been browsing illegal websites that sickly show child pornography and even paid for one with his credit card to gain access.

Because he hadn’t downloaded any videos or images, he wasn’t jailed after his arrest, but his name was on the national register of sex offenders list of the Metropolitan Police for five years. His name remained there until 2008 and was deleted after he passed the ‘multi-agency assessment’ to determine if he was a danger to children.

As described by Daltrey, this was bad for Townshend and everyone close to him. The effects of this claim and arrest affected Daltrey’s family as well, and understandably, they probably didn’t know what to believe or how to react.

Here is what Daltrey stated back in 2019 when he was asked what the lowest point in his career was:

“When Pete was arrested. Not only did I know it was completely out of character for Pete, I felt for everyone affected by it. I know how it affected my family, and I thought about his family and the people that love him. It was an incredibly painful period for all of us.”

Is It True That Townshend Browsed Child Pornography Websites?

Unfortunately, Townshend confessed that he browsed the sick websites. However, he claimed that it was for research for his autobiography. He wanted to expose the chain that works between British banks and illegal Russian websites. The research started when his friend committed suicide in 2002 because she had been sexually abused as a child and the effects of the trauma were too heavy.

Townshend claimed that mainly anger and a sense of revenge drove him to act the way he did and explore this in his autobiography years later. In his memoir, he revealed that he too was abused as a child, and in order to write about it, he had to go through such websites to obtain information. The consequences of this research were heavy, as they affected him, his family, his bandmates, and their families.

The guitarist was also immensely affected by the process, and it was hard for him to remain calm and optimistic. He even contemplated suicide at the time, but he didn’t proceed. Instead, he continued making music and wrote his autobiography, which he released in 2012.