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Rockins Hero Roger Daltrey: Happy Birthday To The Legendary Front Man Of The Who
Today we celebrate Rockins hero Roger Daltrey’s birthday; the iconic lead vocalist and co-founder of the Rock band The Who. Daltrey gained notoriety with the band during the 1960s releasing such hits as: “My Generation,” “Substitute,” “I Can’t Explain” and “Baba O’Riley”.
Daltrey grew up in working-class London and self-carved his first ever guitar out of a block of wood in the style of a cherry red Stratocaster. Once Daltrey had finished school, he started working in a steel mill and during this time he played in a band named The Detours.
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry, The Who, 1968
Later, Daltrey met bassist John Entwistle and a short time after guitarist Pete Townsend; he encouraged them both to join The Detours. The band went through several name changes and following the later addition of drummer Moon the group became The Who, as we now know them.
This formation of the band proved to be built for success. As the lead singer, Daltrey breathed life into Pete Townsend’s artfully penned songs and Daltery is recognised by Rock music fans for the versatile and powerful nature of his voice. This quality is undeniably present in one of the bands most famous anthems ‘My Generation’ but is also prevalent in their ballads such as ‘Behind Blue Eye’. In an interview in Rolling Stone Magazine, Daltrey said of his vocals ‘It’s a very strange process. That’s why I shut my eyes when I sing—I’m in another space, and the characters are living in me.” Daltrey is also recognised by his performance trademark of swinging his mic around by the chord.
A large portion of the bands acclaim is derived from their 1969 Rock-Opera Tommy which tells the tale of a boy who is born deaf, dumb and blind. The story depicts the journey of Tommy, from a young helpless boy, to an expert “Pinball Wizard” to a transcendent figure having regained the ability to hear, see and speak, denoted in the song “I am Free”. In the filmic version created in 1975 Daltery took on the role of Tommy. Following this Daltrey went on to solo music success with a self-titled album in 1973 proceeded by ‘Ride a Rock Horse’ and ‘One of the Boys’. Further to this following his acting performance in ‘Tommy’, Daltrey also had a successful career as an actor; playing the lead in the Franz Liszt biographical film, ‘Lisztmania’and went on to further his acting career starring in ‘McVicar’ the biopic of the infamous bank robber.
In more recent years, Daltrey’s work ethic has now weaned; in his 60s he produced the television documentary Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who. Further to this, in 2008 he performed alongside Townsend, supported by other musicians, in a special tribute concert VH1 Rock Honours: The Who. This year, despite a battle with meningitis the rock legend is continuing to tour with The Who in their current line up. Below is a copy of the set list, inclusive of the classics.
Who Are You
The Seeker
The Kids Are Alright
I Can See For Miles
My Generation
The Real Me
Behind Blue Eyes
Join Together
You Better You Bet
I’m One
The Rock
Love Reign O’er Me
Eminence Front
Amazing Journey
Pinball Wizard
See Me, Feel Me
Baba O’ Riley
Won’t Get Fooled Again