The Who on splitting up, Brexit and friendship

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Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend talk to Sky News about their music and their friendship “not being intimate”.

Founder and frontman Roger Daltrey tells Sky News: “We didn’t ever really split up. It was a necessary departure for a few years, because we had problems to solve, musical problems in the band. But we got over it, Pete [Townshend] and I, it runs deep together. It’s been said we split up – we didn’t.( By Bethany Minelle- Source Sky News, to read the full article click here)

“I just announced – Roger Daltrey Says- that this was going to be our last tour because I was very worried about Peter at the time, he was coming out of bad alcoholism and all kinds of stuff, all kind of naughties.

“And he cleaned himself up, and I just thought if we go back on tour and keep doing this, it’s going to kill him. And I love him, I don’t want that to happen. So there’s all these things that go on but it doesn’t mean that we split up. It’s never meant that.

“Of course the line-up has changed over the years, with the deaths of drummer Keith Moon in 1978 and bass guitarist John Entwistle in 2002. 

Some 55 years after forming, did they ever expect to be performing together once again at Wembley Stadium?

Daltrey admits: “Quite simply, no. We didn’t used to think we’d last ’til the end of the month or even the end of the week, that’s the kind of band we were.”

Daltrey explains: “I’m not the writer of the songs, Pete is, but there’s something about climbing into his music for me as the portal that communicates it with people. I never feel more alive than when I’m doing that – it’s absolute freedom.”

He goes on: “The chemistry of the Who between us musically when we’re on stage, it’s telepathic. There’s something in the air that is intangible. You can’t put a finger on it, but I know it’s there between Pete and I. It can turn on a dime without even looking at each other. It just happens. It’s magical.”

Townshend, the band’s lead guitarist and songwriter, shines a harsher light on their relationship, crediting emotional distance and good work ethic as a reason for their longevity.

“I think our relationship as friends and as co-workers, it’s not an intimate one. When we travel on the road we don’t spend a lot of time together. I think what makes it interesting for us both is that this feels very much like work.”

However, Townshend also recognises the “magic” at the heart of the collaboration.

“I wanted to be an artist, but what I found by writing songs for The Who was there could be no better job.

“I had an audience, I had a band to write for and a great voice in Roger… And when we get together you know there’s also that thing about carrying the history that we do. It kind of imposes and interposes and interpolates a bit of magic. Nothing to do with us.”

But will that magic translate into today’s very different musical climate?

“When we went to play in South America and Mexico for the first time a couple of years back, what was interesting about that was that the kids sort of knew us through YouTube videos of us when we were much younger.

“They were screaming, but they weren’t screaming at us, they were screaming at who we used to be.” To read the full article click here

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