“He thinks of himself as an interpreter of my songs, and I don’t think they need f**king interpreting”: Pete Townshend on his musical relationship with Roger Daltrey

“Roger and I are not diametrically opposed, we’re just very, very different.”

[L-R] Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Credit: Jo Hale/Redferns

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The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has spoken on the creative differences between himself and frontman Roger Daltrey.

Townshend has shared that he feels the two of them are “just very, very different”, but despite this there are moments when they can come together musically.

One moment in particular that Townshend has referred to is on The Song Is Over, originally from the band’s fifth album, Who’s Next. On September 15 this year, the band are due to release Who’s Next | Life House, a huge box set which features unheard songs and newly remixed ones from the Who’s Next era, and the shelved Life House project.

Speaking to Uncut magazine, Townshend discusses the track, and the difference between himself and Daltrey: “Roger and I are not diametrically opposed, we’re just very, very different.”

He later adds, “When we get together musically, there are moments – like on this song – where we’re both using the band that he began and I developed over the years to come together and acknowledge that there’s something greater than the two of us.”

Townshend also states that he feels Daltrey sees himself as an “interpreter” of his songs, “I don’t think they need fucking interpreting,” he says. “In fact, I may have said myself that he’s a great interpreter of my work. It’s unnecessary. He’s the singer in a band and I write the songs for the band. That’s the way it works.

“I’m surprised that Roger hasn’t tried to write more songs. When I first got him songwriting, he did a session with me at my home studio in Twickenham and wrote Here For More [the B-side of The Seeker, 1970]. I remember saying to him ‘this is like a fucking Buddy Holly song. It’s absolutely magnificent!’… I think he doesn’t have the patience for it.”

Find out more about the Who’s Next | Life House box set on the band’s official website.


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