Roger Daltrey Admits the Who Were ‘Too F—-ing Loud’
The group was once listed as the loudest band in the world, being registered at delivering 136db of sound at an open-air show in 1976. While others have staked the same claim over the years, the Guinness World Records organization no longer records the feat since it’s connected with permanent ear damage.
In a recent interview with the Independent, Daltrey said his upcoming solo shows would involve a Q&A section, but that the questions would probably be taken in advance. Asked how his hearing was, he responded, “Terrible, terrible. Without these things" - indicating his in-ear aids - "everything’s a mumble. It’s a penalty for what we did in our lives. We were too fucking loud."
Looking back, he also expressed regret that the Who were so well-known for smashing their equipment – notably guitarist Pete Townshend. “When he broke that first guitar, it actually broke my heart,” he said of the first incident in 1964. “What I would have given for that guitar when I was three years younger than we were then. … We became more famous for the breaking of the guitars than anything else. It became a monkey on our back and extremely expensive.”
Things were so bad, Daltrey said, that the Who were constantly in debt despite already being a world-class act. “We didn’t make any money at all until 1972,” he noted, adding that he never enjoyed the level of fame the band achieved. “I mix with ordinary people,” he said. “I don’t have bodyguards, I go on public transport. That stardom thing, that celebrity thing – I didn’t like it. I had it for five or six years there, and I was uncomfortable with it. I’d much rather be down home with ordinary people. I’m much happier with that.”
The Who are currently touring North America.