Roger Daltrey talks Broadway’s ‘Tommy,’ The Who, new tour

The 80-year-old rocker will perform

Caption: Roger Daltrey, pictured in 2022, is on a short solo tour this June. (Amy Harris / AP Photo)

NEW YORK — As Roger Daltrey hits the road on a short solo tour this June, he’s unsure if fans will see another tour from The Who.

“I don’t see it. I don’t know whether The Who’ll ever go out again,” he told The Associated Press over Zoom.


The 80-year-old rocker has a “use-it-or-lose it-mentality” in his singing voice, so he must perform as much as possible, with or without The Who.

Recently, Daltry spoke with The Associated Press about the band’s future, his solo tour and his feelings on the Broadway revival of The Who’s seminal rock opera, “Tommy.”

AP: What do you think of the “Tommy” Broadway revival?

DALTREY: I’m glad the album is still out there; it means a lot to me. It’s the best opera ever written. I don’t particularly like it. It’s been altered and changed. I can’t imagine cutting some of the music in “Madame Butterfly” or other great operas.

AP: Tell us about the tour.

DALTREY: I’m bringing a band from the U.K. of eight people, a very different-sounding band with different instrumentation. It’s about having fun playing different songs and some Who classics. But we do them differently. So it’s just something I love to do. And people seem to like it when I take it out there.

AP: So you’ll play solo material and The Who stuff?

DALTREY: Having a band like this allows me to do many things I’ve done over the years with different artists, like the stuff I did with Wilko Johnson 10 years ago. I will do some solo stuff and covers of other people I admire.

AP: Is getting out there in front of an audience what keeps your voice intact?

DALTREY: That’s always been my impetus since I had my voice problems. You’ve got to keep using it. Just like anything else in the body. You stop walking, and you lose the muscles in your legs. The voice is a similar thing. If you stop using those muscles in the voice box and the vocal cords, they’ll go soft on you, and you’ll lose your voice.

AP: Simon Townsend is performing with you — not his brother, The Who’s Pete Townsend. What is it like supplementing one Townsend for another?

DALTREY: Simon Townsend is always in my solo shows. Simon has always been with me. Well, he’s a different guy than Pete, though he’s got very similar timber to his voice that suits my voice in the harmonies. He’s a great musician, a fabulous guitarist and a great guy.

AP: What’s the difference being touring with The Who and hitting the road solo?

DALTREY: It’s a lot less weight on my shoulders by myself. The Who feels like, I don’t know, heavier. It’s always much more relaxed and solo shows.

AP: There’s less pressure with a solo gig?

DALTREY: Because it’s the responsibility of The Who — there’s heritage and history to maintain that always need to be in a good light, so it puts a lot of weight on your shoulders. But with this band, I’ve discovered that I can go out there and play any kind of music that I want.

AP: Can you give me an example?

DALTREY: I was doing solo shows on a cruise and got this terrible allergy just before the first show. I ended up in hospital and didn’t know whether I’d make the cruise. But I did make the cruise. Anyway, I had to do three shows back-to-back, and I thought I could not have a sound check. I’m not going to get a rehearsal. But at least these three shows I can do.

AP: With a career that began in the mid-1960s, what has been the biggest change you’ve seen?

DALTREY: Age. (Laughs.) I mean, see the elders growing up with us out in the audience, but equally, we have an enormous number of young fans, which I’m astounded by. So, it changes all the time. But our audience has grown up with us, so age is what you notice most.

AP: Mick Jagger is on the road with the Rolling Stones at 80. Will The Who ever tour again?

DALTREY: I don’t see it. I don’t, I don’t know whether The Who will ever go out again. I don’t know. I don’t think like that. If we’ve got something to do that was progressive and interesting, and there was a reason to do it, then we would go out. But at the moment I can’t see it.