“I have to be realistic. I’m on my way out” The Who’s Roger Daltrey on turning 80

The singer reflects on his decision to step down as the curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) gigs after more than two decades.

Roger Daltrey of The Who

Image: Matthew Baker / Getty Images

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Age might just be a number for some, but The Who frontman Roger Daltrey — who recently turned 80 — sees the milestone as a sign that he’s ‘on the way out’.

Last month, Daltrey gave his final performance at the Royal Albert Hall as the curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) gigs after 24 years at the helm. Reflecting on his decision in a “backstage diary” for The Times, the singer wrote: “I have to be realistic. I’m on my way out.”

“The average life expectancy is 83 and with a bit of luck I’ll make that, but we need someone else to drive things.”

He added: “I’m not leaving TCT – I’ve been a patron since I first met the charity’s founders, Dr Adrian and Myrna Whiteson, more than 30 years ago – and that will continue, but I’ll be working in the back room, talking to the government, rattling cages.”

Daltrey also admitted to feeling nervous ahead of his recent shows, stating: “On at 8.40pm and I’ve got to say I really feel it tonight.”

“We haven’t done anything for seven months and this winter’s been brutal. I’ve been in hibernation. For the whole of January, I lost my voice completely.”

“I live like a monk and if I went on tour for a week I’d be fit as a butcher’s dog again, but tonight, for the first time in my career, I think, ‘Blimey, this is hard.’”

In January, Daltrey opened up about the future of The Who, saying he wouldn’t mind bidding goodbye once and for all to that part of his life.

“I don’t write the songs – I never did,” he told The Times. “[Pete Townshend and I] need to sit down and have a meeting, but at the moment I’m happy saying that part of my life is over.”

In the meantime, fans of Daltrey can catch the musician at his upcoming “semi-acoustic” North America solo tour, which will be taking place this June. Tickets are available at The Who’s website.

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