Roger Daltrey said the characteristic demands to sing WHOs songs meant he would have no choice but to retire at some point, and he was prepared for that to happen at any time, even though he still loves touring.
In a new interview with Forbeshe accepted that “retirement age” was close and he would stop when he could no longer “sing to where it touches the audience.”
“The Who’s music is very different from most rock,” Daltrey said. “You’re dealing with words from a deep inner space in all of us. They have to connect the singer with the audience. If I lose the power to do that, I’ll stop, even if it’s after this tour. I don’t want the downward slope, where you’re not quite as good as you used to be.”
He cited the band’s classic song “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” which appeared in the latest film Top Gun: Maverick. “That’s the beauty of it [Pete] Townshendwrites: You can put any kind of action movie behind the pulsating music,” he said. “Then there is my scream in that song. I can only imagine where it might be [in the movie]. … Pete had indicated a scream in that part of the song, and I thought, “This has got to be completely and utterly primal.” I’ve always been into the primary shock connection to the audience that a voice can have. ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ has the same kind of thing with the last ‘love’.”
Daltrey noted that he was “lucky enough to be in the generation of bands that believe that rock music can be much more than just a three-minute single that appeals to teenagers. Here we are at this grand old age of 78, 79 … where people bring their grandchildren to shows, some of them 8 years old. Eight to 80! Knowing that rock music has achieved that and that the Who was a part of it is what I’m most proud of .”
Although he is aware that his career will end one day, Daltrey confirmed that he was looking forward to the Who’s upcoming US shows. “I was singing my way through so much shit,” he said of the period around 2010 when he was being treated for pre-stage throat cancer. “I really should have stopped. I hated it – will never do it again.” He added that he believed he was currently “singing the best I have in my entire life.”
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