Roger Daltrey is busier than ever as the Who gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary. His new album, Going Back Home, which will be released in the States on Tuesday (April 8th), is already near the top of the UK charts and marks his first full-on solo project in 22 years. The album, which is a collaboration with guitarist Wilko Johnson of Dr. Feelgoodfame, features reworkings of Johnson’s songs throughout the years. Johnson is suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer, and Daltrey has donated his proceeds from the album to Britain’s Teenage Cancer Trust.
Daltrey spoke about the Who's 50th to VH1.com and recalled his fallen bandmates -- drummer Keith Moon, who died in 1978 and John Entwistle, who passed in 2002. When asked about what life was really like with the iconic drummer, Daltrey explained, "You know, it depends which Keith Moon you had. If you had the sober Keith Moon, he was totally different. The sober Keith Moon was very, very well-read, but unfortunately the sober Keith Moon was incredibly boring -- which he wasn’t by the way, but he just thought that. So then he would turn into the drunk Keith Moon, which would be very funny for the first three or four hours. And then slowly descend into becoming Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It became quite nasty. So it was a roller coaster to say the least."
- When remembering John Entwistle, Daltrey recalled: "I think John always felt kind of overshadowed by the other three in the band -- by Pete (Townshend), myself -- because we were the flamboyant ones out in the front. So he used to kind of make up for that in other ways. He really did live the archetypal 'rock star lifestyle.' He would have a limo that was twice as big as everybody else’s. You know, everything he had was flash and gaudy. He was a very, very quirky man indeed. But a genius bass player."
- Roger Daltrey told us that these days, due to his aging vocal cords, he's learned to properly pace himself within his live performances: "We can only play for two hours. Y'know it gets to be, for me personally and my voice, two hours is enough singing the way I sing. It's not an easy number these songs. They're very, very challenging. They demand the kind of energy that the voice needs to give it."
- Newly released on DVD and Blu-ray is the Sensation: The Story Of 'Tommy'. Although Roger Daltrey gladly takes part in all of the ongoing Who retrospectives -- he admitted to us that he never watches old footage of the band or listens to their albums: "Y'know, I find all those things really, really interesting. It's historical and I like to be out there, y'know, doing what I was gifted to do -- that's sing. So, me spending months in the studio putting something like that together would be a complete waste of time."
- It's looking as though Pete Townshend's first solo album in over 20 years, Floss, will finally see release this year. Townshend, who's been working on the multi-media project since 2008, spoke about the album in Uncut, which featured it as part of its "2014 Albums Preview," and has its release slated for the spring.
- Townshend said, "It's. . . very, very focused and serious. The idea is that we're all terrified. We're living in terror, we're living in anxiety, discomfort and the fear that we have is for the future, the fear for our children's future. We're worried about the planet, we're worried about terrorism, being able to sustain life as we love it, we're afraid we can't guarantee peace."
- He went on to say, "It ends with and interactive art installation. I'm hoping that will last a couple of years. I started working on it in 2008 and I'm hoping a series of songs from it will come out next May or June."
CHECK IT OUT: The Who on December 15th, 1977 performing “Tommy’s Holiday Camp” live in London:
CHECK IT OUT: The Who on December 15th, 1977 performing “Substitute” live in London: