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ROGER DALTREY SAYS 'TOMMY' WAS THE WHO'S -- NOT PETE TOWNSHEND'S

11/12/2013

With the "Super Deluxe" edition of the Who's Tommy out now, the band's legendary 1969 rock opera is once again front and center -- and Roger Daltrey is quick to explain that Tommy was indeed a band effort. As Pete Townshend explained in his 2012 autobiography, due to the abuses he suffered as a child, he delegated late bassist John Entwistle to compose the more sinister pieces, which helped form Tommy.

 

Daltrey told Rolling Stone, "John Entwistle was asked to write about the dark side of things. There were dark characters like Uncle Ernie, which we did in fun at the time. I think everybody in their life has someone whose been kind've mischievous in that area. We always poked fun at it. John wrote that song and 'Cousin Kevin,' which was the spiteful one. People talk about Pete Townshend's Tommy, but it was really The Who's Tommy."

  • Daltrey, who's always bristled at the notion that he was merely the mouthpiece for Townshend's legendary work went on to say, "For quite a long time, people failed to recognize what the Who were adding to Pete's music . . . it was quite apparent from day one when Keith Moon joined the band. Every piece of music we played up until then was different immediately after Keith joined. The chemistry changed and it was quite clear from day one."
  • Roger Daltrey shed light on his recent solo performances of Tommy -- and stressed that the piece is the work of the Who -- not just composer Pete Townshend: "I've treated it like a classic piece of work written by one composer; and obviously it's not, it's written by a group of people, Every bit of music on there is written by a group of people. Pete might've written the top lines of most of the songs, but all the little bits and intricacies that were all part of the group's character belong to the individuals in that group. But I've treated that as though it was one composer and treated it with that kind of respect. It's a very different animal than when the Who took it on the road."

SIDE NOTES

  • Roger Daltrey has thrown his support behind a new Keith Moon biopic. Daltrey, who has closely been shepherding a definitive screen portrayal of Moon, who died in 1978 at age 32, has been working closely with Exclusive Media’s Chairman and CEO Nigel Sinclair and New York based Da Vinci Media Ventures led by Wendy Rutland and Toby Moores.
  • The Hollywood Reporter posted, "Exclusive is currently commissioning a writer to pen the script for the long-in-development project. The group is looking to set up the feature as a European-based co-production."
  • Daltrey said in a statement: "The Keith Moon project is one close to my heart so I am excited to reinvigorate it and grateful to Wendy, Toby and Da Vinci for their enthusiastic support."
  • No start date for the still-untitled film has been announced.

CHECK IT OUT: The Who in 1973 on Russell Harty Plus Pop:

Roger Daltrey On Performing 'Tommy' As A Solo Act

Read about the deluxe edition here


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