October 27, 2020

2010-02-25 – Pittsburgh Post Gazette

2010 02 25 Pittsburgh_Post_Gazette_Thu__Feb_25__2010_

Daltrey can’t wait around for The Who

By Scott Mervis
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street
Band used its Super Bowl XXLIII half-
time appearance as a springboard to sell
out shows the following day for an up-
coming tour.

Unfortunater that’s not happening
with The Who, as guitarist Pete Townsh-
end had to scrap any thoughts of touring
due to a recurring issue with tinnitus
and is using the time away from the stage
to work on a musical called “Floss.”

That leaves just one living member
of The Who ready to go, and Roger DaI-
trey doesn’t care to sit around and play
shuffleboard. He’s assembled his Use It
or Lose It solo band — guitarists Simon
Townshend (Pete’s younger brother) and
Frank Simes (Don Henley Mick Jagger),
keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist Jon But-
ton and drummer Scott Devours — for
a touring stint with Eric Clapton that
starts tonight at the Mellon Arena.

“We did a tour just before Christ-
mas with a band I put together just for
the hell of it, just to keep singing, you
know,” Mr. Daltrey said Wednesday from
his Pittsburgh hotel room. “I had such a
good time and they’re such a great hand,
I’m just taking work to keep the band
alive and to keep singing. I just enjoy it.
It’s what I do.”

Simon Townshend, 49, has a history
of playing alongside his brother going
back to The Who’s Quadrophenia Tour
in 1996.

“They’re difierent, but they’re both
brilliant,” the singer said. “Pete’s a one-
off. He’s an incredibly original guitarist.
He’s the most original out of all the gui-
tar heroes, in my opinion.”

William Snyder

Roger Daltrey says there’s still a future
for The Who.

There’s nothing planned between
The Who singer and Mr. Clapton for the
Pittsburgh show, but he said that could
happen later in the tour. His set list in the
fall included Who favorites like “Behind
Blue Eyes” and “I Can See for Miles,”
along with two songs from Largo (his
project with the Hooters) and a tribute to
Johnny Cash.

“My show was devoted to my influ-
ences, and Johnny Cash was a huge part
of that,” he said. “That guy gave me so
much in the early days of my singing
career and it’s just great to hear those

songs live, and now Johnny’s not there
doing it himself. It’s nice to be able to
keep the music alive.”

Last month, more than 106 million
Super Bowl viewers in this country got
to hear how the singer can handle Who
songs at age 65, and the reviews were
mixed. For his part, Mr. Daltrey said he’s
glad the band took the offer.

“I was amazed at the organization; 700
volunteers put that stage up in six min-
utes. It was a TV spectacular; incredibly
well-staged and an honor to play it, but I
can’t pretend it was anything special as
far as we’re concerned, because it didn’t
feel like a show. Twelve minutes is not
really anything we’ve done in the past,
apart fi‘om TV appearances, so it was
kind of weird. But they staged an amaz-
ing spectacle in the middle of your Su-
per Bowl, in the middle of a toilet break.
Only America could they do that thing
well. I could imagine if we did that in
England, they’d still be putting the stage
up now!”

The Who is scheduled to reassemble
in London for a charity run-through
of “Quadrophenia” on March 30. The
question is, what happens after that — is
there a future for The Two?

“I don’t know Of course there
is,” Mr. Daltrey said. “We’ll work ways
around it. I don’t know, you know what,
if there isn’t any future, I don’t really
mind. We’ve had a great career It’s been
fantastic. But I wouldn’t write us ofl“ yet.
Not after what we just saw at the Super
Bowl. Pete’s ear problems seem to come
and go. It was here quite bad in the ’80s
and then it went. We were active for a
good 15 years between the ’80s, ’908, into
the turn of the century I don’t know. I
think it will go again.”