Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: “I am very, very deaf”

This week our focus is on…

Roger Daltrey

Roger Daltrey of The Who.

Now 74, Daltrey was the co-founder of  the iconic ‘60s rock band The Who, serving as lead vocalist. He performed as part of the group’s rock opera Tommy before embarking on a solo career in 1973.

At a recent solo performance Daltrey told the audience about his serious health problems.

“The trouble with the​se ear things that I wear is that I am very, very deaf. And I advise you all – all you rock-and-roll fans – take your f***ing ear plugs to the gigs. If only we had known when we were young​ … we ​are lip-reading.”

Daltrey now depends on lip-reading and large in-ear monitors. Otherwise he couldn’t follow the music.

The rocker conceded  he missed Jimi Hendrix and Doors singer Jim Morrison.

“​Those people aren’t here any more… what am I doing here?”

July 12, 1969. Rolling Stone magazine reported:

At long last, Tommy is with us. Pete Townshend’s been talking about doing his opera for years. And now we have a double album set that’s probably the most important milestone in pop since Beatlemania. For the first time, a rock group has come up with a full-length cohesive work that could be compared to the classics.

The central character is Tommy himself. Born during the First World War, he becomes blind, deaf and dumb after seeing a murder by his parents in a mirror, becomes a pinball champion, reaches a state of grace, regains his senses and starts his own religion, is eventually discarded by his disciples somewhere in the far distant future, finds himself as isolated as he was in the beginning. The opera is, apart from being some of the best rock yet, a statement of Townshend’s philosophy. “It’s about life,” he says.

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