With the Who inactive for the moment, Roger Daltrey will mount a 29-show Use It Or Lose It solo tour of North America starting Oct. 10 at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. The nearly eight-week outing is his first solo trek on these shores since 1985, and in a statement he deemed it "an exercise to keep my voice in trim, so I'll be ready" when the Who performs again. "Those songs demand a lot of my voice!"
In fact, Daltrey tells Billboard.com that taking care of his voice has been a paramount concern during his career. "I've looked after my voice; because I sing so loud, I have to," he explains. "I try and do as many little charity things as I can. I sing around the house. I exercise before I'm going to sing. I do bring it into gear so it's not ripped.
"I think my voice at the moment is better than its ever been. There's a depth and a quality to it that's...When it's on form, it's deafening, my voice."
Who sideman and guitarist Pete Townshend's younger brother Simon Townshend will accompany Daltrey on the tour, along with guitarist and musical director Frank Simes, keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist Jon Button and drummer Scott Devours. The Use It Or Lose It repertoire will include material from Daltrey's nine solo albums, some covers (he's previously preformed songs by Queen, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen) and, of course, a generous selection of Who favorites.
"I feel so passionate about Townshend's music what he wrote and his standing in the big scheme of things," says Daltrey, who shared a Kennedy Center Honor with the guitarist in December. "I love playing Townshend's music old, new, whatever."
Daltrey adds that the Who has "no intention of stopping" but that after more than 45 years together he's learned to be patient. "I think Pete's got every intention of writing more new Who stuff," Daltrey says, "but he hates to say that until he's actually written it 'cause it's in the lap of the gods, isn't it? I wish I could write it, 'cause we'd be doing it tomorrow. But, sadly, I'm not the writer that Townshend is. One genius is enough in a band....You just have to be there for him if he needs you. That's my function. I'm just an instrument for him, and...I'm quite happy with that."
Daltrey, meanwhile, is not ruling out the possibility of another solo album, though he hasn't released one since 1992's "Rocks in the Head."
"I think I've got one more really good album in me," he says. "I'm working on ideas. There's whole new dimensions to come out of me, I think. It's finding the material, but the way I always feel is there must be an enormous amount of really talented songwriters out there who can't sing, so please send <I>me</i> your songs."
The itinerary for Daltrey's Use It Or Lose It tour includes:
10: Vancouver, BC (Commodore Ballroom)
12: Seattle, WA (Showbox SoDO)
15: Highland, CA (San Manuel Indian Casino)
17: Los Angeles, CA (Orpheum Theatre)
18: San Diego, CA (Humphrey's)
20: Denver, CO (Paramount Theatre)
22: Thackerville, OK (Winstar Casino)
24: Biloxi, MS (Hard Rock Cafe)
25: Jacksonville, FL (Florida Theatre)
28: Durham, NC (Durham PAC)
30: Nashville, TN (Ryman Auditorium)
31: Elizabeth, IN (Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino)
2: Chicago, IL (House of Blues)
3: Cleveland, OH (House of Blues)
5: Orillia, ON (Casino Rama Entertainment Centre)
7: Mashantucket, CT (MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods)
8: Boston, MA (House of Blues)
10: Baltimore, MD (Lyric Opera House)
11: Montclair, NJ (Wellmont Theatre)
13-14: Atlantic City, NJ (Borgata Music Box)
17: Red Bank, NJ (Count Basie Theatre)
18: Norfolk, VA (Chrysler Hall Theatre)
20: New York, NY (Nokia Theatre Times Square)
24: North Charleston, SC (North Charleston Coliseum)
25: Buena Vista, FL (House of Blues)
27: Ft. Myers, FL (Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall)
29: Hollywood, FL (Hard Rock Live)
30: Clearwater, FL (Ruth Eckerd Hall)