The Who won’t be hitting the road again until next year, but as Rolling Stone reported, Roger Daltrey won’t be staying home during their hiatus. “That’s a long time for me,” says Daltrey, “so I put a little band together. I’m going back to where it all began.” For his first solo shows since 1985, Daltrey and his own band (which includes Simon Townshend, Pete’s brother, on guitar) will be playing theaters in October and November. “Simon’s my mate,” he says. “And like me, he needs to work.”
The set list is still in the works, but Daltrey is promising “different versions of Who songs” — like an acoustic reworking of “Who Are You.” (“Strip away the synthesizers and it’s a blues song,” he says.) He’s also considering rarely performed tracks from Who albums like The Who By Numbers and Face Dances (“I always liked ‘Cache Cache,’ ” he says) as well as select tracks from his own albums, like “Walk on Water” and a few of the Leo Sayer covers from his 1973 album Daltrey.
Fans expecting solo hits like “Avenging Annie” or “After the Fire” may be disappointed: “Some of those might sound dated now,” Daltrey says. But the lineup — and the balance between solo and Who songs — are still in the planning stages. “The show has to be a journey,” he says, laughing. “An enjoyable journey or it could be a bumpy ride!”
When the Who do resume rework next year, Daltrey says he and Townshend are considering playing Tommy or Quadrophenia in full. “I’d like to do a stripped-down show — no staging, no big production, just play the bloody music,” he says. “The music is timeless.” Although Daltrey keeps his voice in shape with vocal warm-ups — and even calls his solo tour Use It Or Lose It — he’s also realistic about his singing future. Of the Quadrophenia songs, he says, “These are the last years of my life that I can sing that material.”