Tag Archives: Roger Daltrey

Can’t Explain: Roger Daltrey Designs Rolls-Royce for Charity

Roger Daltrey was a member of The Who, a band that he fundamentally established in 1964 with John Entwistle, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend.

Some people might argue that Roger Daltrey is a member of The Who, given that at the recent Desert Trip concert (a.k.a., Oldchella), a band named “The Who” performed.

Without going all Abbott & Costello (or a Hortonesque Dr. Seuss) about it, how can there be The Who when 50% of the band no longer exists: who’s left? Keith Moon died in 1978. John Entwistle died in 2002. (Daltrey had a bad case of meningitis last year and it almost seemed as though he’d be the answer to who’s next; fortunately he recovered and seems to be back on his game).

If we look at the band that is masquerading as The Who, know that Keith Moon was replaced by Kenny Jones, who was with the three original members starting in 1978. He was replaced in 1988 by Zack Starkey.

As for the bass position, that was taken up in 2002 by Pino Palladino.

So when does a specific “band” stop being that band in more than a marketing sense?

Isn’t the elimination of 50% of the musicians—especially musicians of the caliber of Moon and Entwistle, and with all due respect, does anyone actually think that Jones, Starkey and Palladeno are as good as those two were?—good enough to argue that it is something other than it once was?

After all, if you heard that a band was “decimated,” you’d probably think, “Geeze, there must not be much left.”

But that would mean that only 10% was eliminated, a far cry from the 50% of The Who (and it could be reckoned that with the replacement of Jones by Starkey, it would be a change of on the order of 65%).

Would Paul McCartney and Richard Starkey—I mean Ringo Starr—constitute “The Beatles”? Even at his most mendacious, it seems that McCartney doesn’t think so, either.

But now in their 52nd year of playing together, Daltrey and Townshend soldier on.

To be sure, they’ve done things other than play in the cover band known as “The Who.”

Ever since he appeared in Ken Russell’s 1975 film Tommy, Daltrey has been an actor, a performer on stage and screen (Who music isn’t just used as theme music for the various C.S.I.s; Daltrey has performed on the show as many characters, including playing, for reasons I can’t begin to understand, a middle-aged African-American woman).

Perhaps even more remarkable than that bit of acting is the fact that in 2008, late-middle aged American president George W. Bush awarded Daltrey and Townshend with the Kennedy Center Honors.

My interest in Daltrey was piqued by the recent announcement that he is collaborating with Rolls-Royce on the car manufacturer’s “Inspired by British Music” vehicles. It won’t be a “Roger Daltrey” edition, but “The Who” edition.

Continue reading Can’t Explain: Roger Daltrey Designs Rolls-Royce for Charity

Who Are They Kidding?

“Roger Daltrey has been a world-famous star since the early 1960s when he began his career as the lead singer of The Who, and has since become one of the most popular vocalists in rock music history.” So claims a press release from CBS Entertainment, which draws attention to the fact that Daltrey is going to have a role on a forthcoming episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. “World-famous star.” “Most popular vocalists in rock music history.” Well, it would be hard to disprove that, although the pneumatic praise is a little humid and musty.

“Daltrey is currently on a major worldwide tour with The Who, promoting their current album, Endless Wire,” the release notes. Here is something that can be completely disproved. When Daltrey became a “world-famous star” it was with a band consisting of four people. Two of the four are dead. Now Daltrey and one of them, the guy who wrote the song that’s used as the theme song for CSI, are out touring. That’s 50%. Which effectively makes it a duo. “The Who” does not exist, marketing notwithstanding. “The Who” is effectively a part of “rock music history.”

[To put Daltrey’s appearance on CSI in perspective, consider this: Mr. Britney Spears, Kevin Federline will be guest starring in tonight’s episode – ed.]

Strike

“The ball doesn’t roll for me, and that’s it. I don’t go near the bloody things.”

That’s Roger Daltrey talking. At first I thought he had a whole Clem Snide/”Ed”/new-sport-of-the-21st-century thing going and that the ball in question was a bowling ball. I must confess, however, that the notion had more than a little something to do with a recent experience on the lanes in the basement of a country club that I once tried to sue (long story—and no, I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of, a country club), a country club in which GloNo‘s own Sab sufficiently outraged a group of salesmen that they nearly ganged up on him to kick his ass (but who succumbed to free booze and the discussion of sports instead—but they still remember the night in question). Anyway, about my bowling: If the lane was about four feet shorter, I’d have probably knocked down a few more pins. The ball would travel in an unvaryingly straight vector down the center, only to hook four feet out. Unfortunately, I was teamed with some of the aforementioned salesmen, who were not, to put it mildly, amused by my performance.

No, Daltrey wasn’t talking ten-pins. He was talking about pinball. The venue is Maxim magazine. I’m as big a Who fan as anyone on this site. Yet being male, I’ve got to admit that I would pickup Maxim for issues totally unrelated to deaf, dumb and blind kids. I suspect that I’m not unique in this regard. Yet the Who are out touring—again—so there it is.

As you may have noticed (assuming that you’ve ventured this far), much of this is about me or other GloNo-related folks. Which is the point. You could probably care less whether I am a 300 bowler or have a tendency to drop the ball on my foot.

Isn’t it rather asinine to equate Daltrey with Tommy (despite the end rhyme)?

What is the extent to which we care about the musicians as musicians versus the musicians as individuals (e.g., people who play pinball or bowl or whatever)? I don’t want to go down the road worn down by the bare feet of the New Critics (you may remember them from an English lit class), who said that a poem should be analyzed only to the extent of the words on the page, who held that all other information (e.g., historical context; biographical information) is irrelevant, but dredging up the angles indicated by that quote (and couldn’t we imagine, “So, Mr. Daltrey, how do you feel when you’re on a beach? More real than usual?”) makes me far more sympathetic to that point of view.

The music matters. The performers are incidental. (And in some cases, not incidental, but coincidental.)

Let me tell you about my bowling. . . .