The Talented Roger Daltrey Part One
Roger Harry Daltrey, CBE (born 1 March 1944) is an English singer and actor. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Daltrey came to prominence in the mid-1960s as the founder and lead singer of the rock band the Who, which released fourteen singles that entered the Top 10 charts in the United Kingdom during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, including “I Can’t Explain”, “My Generation”, “Substitute”, “I’m a Boy”, “Happy Jack”, “Pictures of Lily”, “Pinball Wizard”, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, and “You Better You Bet”. Daltrey began his solo career in 1973, while still a member of the Who. Since then, he has released eight studio albums, five compilation albums, and one live album. His solo hits include “Giving It All Away”, “Walking the Dog”, “Written on the Wind”, “Free Me”, “Without Your Love”, “Walking in My Sleep”, “After the Fire”, and “Under a Raging Moon”. In 2010, he was ranked as number 61 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest singers of all time.
Daltrey performing live, 2016
Roger Harry Daltrey
1 March 1944 (age 73)
East Acton, London, England
* Rock art rock hard rock soft rock power pop
* Singer actor film producer
* Vocals guitar
* Track MCA Polydor Atlantic WEA Rhino Sanctuary
* The Who The RD Crusaders No Plan B Pete Townshend Rick Wakeman Wilko Johnson
* Epiphone Wilshire
* Fender Esquire
* Martin Guitars
* Gibson J-200
* Gibson Everly Brothers Flattop
* Ashbury Ukeleles
* Gibson Chet Atkins SST
Daltrey has been known as one of the most charismatic of rock’s frontmen and famed for his powerful voice and energetic stage presence.
As a member of the Who, Daltrey received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. The Who are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide. He and Pete Townshend received The George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement at UCLA on 21 May 2016.
Daltrey has also been an actor and film producer, with roles in films, theatre, and television.
Early life and education
Roger Harry Daltrey was born on 1 March 1944, in Hammersmith Hospital, East Acton, west London, England, one of three children of Irene and Harry Daltrey. Daltrey’s father fought in World War II at the time, and came home a few years later. He was brought up in Acton, the same working class suburban district that produced fellow Who members Pete Townshend, and John Entwistle.
Daltrey attended Victoria Primary School and then Acton County Grammar School along with Townshend and Entwistle. He showed academic promise in the English state school system, ranking at the top of his class on the eleven-plus examination that led to his enrolment at the Acton County Grammar School. His parents hoped that he would eventually continue on to study at university, but Daltrey turned out to be a self-described “school rebel” and developed a dedicated interest in the emerging rock and roll music scene instead.
He made his first guitar from a block of wood, a cherry red Stratocaster replica, and joined a skiffle band called the Detours in need of a lead singer. They told him that he had to bring a guitar, and within a few weeks he showed up with it, and he could play it too. When his father bought him an Epiphone guitar in 1959, he became the lead guitarist for the band; soon afterwards he was expelled from school for tobacco smoking. Describing the post-war times, Townshend wrote in his autobiography, “until he was expelled Roger had been a good pupil.”
Daltrey became a sheet metal worker during the day, while practising, and performing nights with the band at weddings, pubs, and working men’s clubs. He invited schoolmate Entwistle to play bass guitar in the band, and on the advice of Entwistle, invited Townshend to play guitar. At that time, the band also had Doug Sandom on drums and Colin Dawson on lead vocals. After Dawson left the band, Daltrey switched to lead vocals, and played harmonica as well, while Townshend became the lead guitarist. In 1964, drummer Sandom left the band, eventually being replaced by Keith Moon.
Early on, Daltrey was the band’s leader, earning a reputation for using his fists to exercise control when needed, despite his small stature (his height is reportedly 1.65 metres (5 ft 5 in)). According to Townshend, Daltrey “ran things the way he wanted. If you argued with him, you usually got a bunch of fives” (slaps or punches). He generally selected the music that they performed, including songs by the Beatles, various Motown artists, James Brown, and rock standards.
In 1964, the band discovered another band performing as the Detours and discussed changing their name. Townshend suggested “the Hair” and Townshend’s roommate Richard Barnes suggested “the Who.” The next morning, Daltrey made the decision for the band, saying “It’s the Who, innit?”
During 1964, band manager Peter Meaden renamed the band to “the High Numbers” as part of a move to establish the band as Mod favourites. The name was a reference to the T-shirts with “numbers” that the Mods used at the time. Peter Meaden composed Mod songs for them (in fact, the songs were almost copies of Mod hits at the time, with changed lyrics) and they released one single, “I’m the Face/Zoot Suit”, on Fontana Records. The single proved to be commercially unsuccessful.
After Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp discovered the High Numbers at the Railway Hotel, the band changed their name back to The Who.
Daltrey’s songs for the Who
Daltrey contributed a handful of songs to the band’s catalogue during their early career:
* “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” (1965) – The Who’s second single, co-written with Townshend.
* “See My Way” (1966) – Daltrey’s contribution to A Quick One.
* “Early Morning Cold Taxi” (1968) – Outtake from The Who Sell Out (later appearing as a bonus track on deluxe editions), co-written with David “Cyrano” Langston.
* “Here for More” (1970) – B-side to “The Seeker”.
Daltrey also wrote a song titled “Crossroads Now” for the Who which grew out of an onstage jam session in 1999 after the song “My Generation.” Another Daltrey song, entitled “Certified Rose”, was rehearsed by the Who shortly before the death of John Entwistle. The band had planned on playing it (as well as Townshend’s “Real Good Looking Boy”) during their 2002 tour, but plans were halted after Entwistle’s death. Although it was rumoured that a studio version was recorded during the Endless Wire sessions (and may have featured Entwistle’s basslines from 2002), Townshend later stated that no such recording was made.
“Early Morning Cold Taxi”, is a song recorded during The Who Sell Out’s recording sessions in 1967, and was released in 1994 on the Thirty Years of Maximum R&B box set, which is credited to Roger Daltrey and Who roadie Dave “Cyrano” Langston. Some sources report that the song was solely written by Langston. At the time Daltrey and Langston were planning to form a writing partnership, in which all songs written by either of them would be credited as Daltrey/Langston. The partnership produced only one other song—an unreleased demo titled “Blue Caravan.” Langston went on to play guitar on John Entwistle’s debut solo album, Smash Your Head Against the Wall, in 1971.