Roger Daltrey Opens Up About ‘The Who’

May 15, 2013
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Listeners to the Stern Show might look at Howard, Robin, and Fred’s close relationship and think it’s easy to work together for years and years. But they are called “The Beatles of radio,” instead of “The Who of radio” for good reason.

Howard has long been fascinated by the relationships between members of bands, especially the tension between “The Who’s” lead singer Roger Daltrey and their guitarist/songwriter Pete Townsend. Roger Daltrey‘s first ever visit to Howard’s SiriusXM studio provided the King with his opportunity to go deep on that.

For Howard, the relationship boiled down to this: It must be difficult for Pete to write fantastic songs, but not be able to sing them, while Roger can sing a fantastic song, but can’t write one. Roger didn’t disagree. He told Howard of the time Pete once tried to whack him with his guitar on stage. Fortunately for Roger, the guitar just brushed his shoulder; unfortunately for Pete, Roger retaliated with what he described as ‘”the perfect upper-cut,” which sent Pete to the floor, out cold. At the time, Roger thought he might have killed him.

But when it was all said and done, Roger feels that fame was just harder on Townshend than it was on him.


As for the members of The Who that are no longer with us:

Legendary drummer Keith Moon died in 1978. Roger recalled a time when Moon took monkey tranquilizers and passed out the minute the band hit the stage, sleeping for 24 hours. They had to push him around a wheelchair the next day. Roger thinks Keith might actually have been autistic, which could account for all the busted-up hotel rooms.

Roger says everyone was charmed by Keith, though,even when he stripped naked while in line for airport security.

Bassist John Entwistle, who passed away in 2002, was such a hard-drinker they nicknamed him “The Ox.” Roger said he had a strange relationship with Entwistle, and hated to see him deteriorate.

So why didn’t “The Who” ever stage an intervention for him?

Roger: “They didn’t call him The Ox for nothing. “