How Roger Daltrey Angered Pete Townshend Over New Who Album
Roger Daltrey admits he angered Pete Townshend as they worked on the new Who album. He's also offering an insight into what he needs to do to feel confident in performing the guitarist’s songs.
The singer previously said, he believed Townshend had written a “really great solo album” when he first listened to the demos. Daltrey now says the upcoming release is their best work since Quadrophenia. No release date has been announced, but the Who have been performing new material onstage recently.
“Pete presented me with 12 demos," Daltrey told Uncut. "And there were four, maybe five, of them which I really didn’t like. I thought it was a great Pete Townshend solo album. I told him that. And he got quite angry! He said, ‘I wrote them for you!’ I said, ‘Pete, I don’t know how I can improve it.’ I couldn’t see myself climbing in.”
After receiving permission to change what he felt needed changing, Daltrey began feeling better about the songs. “So slowly but surely I climbed into it,” he said. “I don’t think anyone’s ever understood, including Pete, that doing what I do with his songs is certainly not fucking easy. You have to live them. Do I have to change the songs till I can mean them? Yes. It has to come from my heart. It can’t come from my head. When it comes from my heart, I will touch you with those words. Sometimes, I have to change the words to make that possible.”
Daltrey made sure he didn’t work for more than three hours at a time, despite being under pressure to record his vocal tracks. “I don’t let my voice get worn out at all these days,” he said. “When I record, I like to do it like I’m a painter. I sketch. I dab notes on, and go away and live with it for a while. Then I went in one day, after I’d done all my sketches, and did the whole thing.
"I have to say it’s a far better Who album than it is a Pete Townshend album! I mean, I don’t know what people want out of the Who anymore. But the songs are fabulous.”
He added that Townshend remained his “favorite all-time guitarist," saying: “All the other guys are technicians and they’re brilliant, and they might be fast and they might be slick. Townshend’s always original. And that for me is everything. He’s always searching.”