The Who: 'Bring back the rockstar mystique!'

Virgin Radio

1 Apr 2019, 23:44

The Who have seen many bands come and go over their lengthy career, and Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are still determined to give as good as they’ve got. They’re playing a giant show at Wembley Stadium in July, and will be joined by an orchestra but Roger insists they’re not slowing own any time soon. ‘I threw out the idea of playing with an orchestra to Pete and he liked it. It gives us incredible scope to make our music bigger. It won’t be smaller or softer, it’ll be full throttle. Our attitude in how we play won’t change’ he insists. He never wants to shortchange their fans. ‘Being a singer of the age I am, it makes me feel like I still have a bit of dignity onstage rather than trying to be what I was forty years ago. You go into a tour like this, it’d be wonderful to say we’d do many more in the future but the age we are it’s remarkable we’re still standing with the life we had.’

‘To be able to perform as well as we can, that is a gift. If we start to slip, especially me, vocally, I won’t go forward as it can only go downhill from there and that would be wrong. You’ve reached the top of the mountain, you don’t want to take the audience down to the bottom’ continues Daltrey. Amongst the changes they’ve seen is the advent of social media, and Pete doesn’t have the patience for it.  ‘People will Twitter away left right and centre with polarisation and it’s about finding the truth in the middle. We still want the real story. If you look at America with Trump is that there is a real story there and he just shouts that it’s lies.’ Roger isn’t sure it’s for the best, either. ‘It’s extraordinary. Nobody knows what’s fake news and what isn’t, and what bots can do now, they can almost make anybody appear to do anything they like which is terrifying. Judging on Twitter, being the judge and jury behind a screen, it’s turning it against us.’

Pete uses Instagram but he thinks some bands take it too far. ‘I really don’t care what singers have had for breakfast, but I do care that they’re alive and that they’re gigging and touring. It takes so long to do this social media stuff’.

Roger agrees. ‘I love mystery. I think a lot of the success of the music industry in our day was that you had to hunt for it. Fans spent days figuring out what hotel you were going to be in. Now I just look online and see what the singer has had for breakfast. Bring back the mystique!’

Bad news for the new generation of rockstars that like to overshare. Maybe if they take a leaf out of The Who’s book they'll have the same longevity.