Age catches up with even the most sprightly of rock stars, even Roger Daltrey. Indeed it’s a wonder the singer hasn’t exhausted himself completely given the energy he puts into most performances. But The Who frontman has admitted that the slog of touring is taking too much out of him as he nears old age.
Previous tours are said to have left Daltrey ‘almost hospitalised’ and ‘seriously ill’ due to the strenuous nature of touring, according to an interview in Rolling Stone.
Daltrey endured a cancer scare earlier in 2011 that resulted in an operation to remove a growth on his vocal chords, from which he is still recovering.
Daltrey said, “I was having terrible trouble hearing what I was singing and it did get to me… In fact, I’ve been suffering for quite a few of the previous tours. I never understood that if you sweat as much as I used to every night, you drain your body of salts. So I got very, very, seriously ill. I got to the stage where I was almost hospitalized with serious problems.”
Retirement however, is not yet on the cards (Daltrey is set to tour Tommy later this year), although he did admit that the curtain is close to coming down on The Who’s long and glorious career, saying, “We’re in the last bits of our career… I feel that we owe it to the public that supported us all these years to go down with us. I had a real scare with my voice a couple of years ago, but now I’m singing better than ever. And it made me just want to use it till the day I can’t . . . Look, I’m realistic about my age and realistic about the fact that there’s an awful lot less in front of me than there is behind me. I’ve always felt that music is an art form that deserves to live the life of the artist.”
He also expressed concern for the health of bandmate Pete Townshend, saying, “There’s nobody I’d rather be on stage with than Pete. But equally, I don’t want to be on stage with him destroying the last bit of his hearing. That would be completely foolish. He’s a composer.”