The Who Eyeing Spring 2011 'Quadrophenia' Tour
The Who are hoping to hit the road again in 2011, with "a new show," according to singer Roger Daltrey, or possibly a retooled stage presentation of the group's 1973 rock opera "Quadrophenia."
"We're just working out what to do next," Daltrey tells Billboard.com. "We've got ideas...We're looking on probably being out there, hopefully if all goes well, in the spring of next year...We definitely don't want to stop. We feel it's the role of the artist to go all the way through life 'til you can't do it anymore."
Daltrey does acknowledge, however, that "there's a few things to get around -- primarily guitarist and composer Pete Townshend's continuing battle with severe Tinnitus. Daltrey says that "it's nothing that can't be sorted out -- just different monitor systems, different on-stage volume, which is where the issue is. Pete being the addictive character he is, if he gets carried away he tends to turn his volume up to the old levels, and that's when it causes the trouble. That's one of the problems with rock 'n' roll, once the old adrenaline kicks in."
Daltrey, who's been doing solo dates as a headliner and opening for Eric Clapton while the Who is off the road, says he's not sure about the progress of Townshend's new musical "Floss" -- "That's not my bag, that's Pete." -- but is always hopeful for new material to sing. "He writes, and then we decide what to do," Daltrey explains. "One of the reasons I'm doing this (touring) is so if he ever does write anything significant or anything he needs me to sing, I've got a voice to do it. I've dedicated my life to being the voice of his music. I'm happy with that position. I feel I've done a good job for him."
As for taking "Quadrophenia" -- which the Who performed as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust benefits on March 30 in London -- back out on the road, Daltrey says that "there are issues with it to make it work at our age. I'm 16 years older than when we last did it, and I always had a bit of a problem, as far as the crowd was concerned, with the way we were presenting that show, the way our position within the piece was explained. For the newcomers it was narratively a bit of a puzzle, what Pete and I were to this guy on the screen. It needs a revamp. It would be dated to put it out as it is now. We need to fix that area, but I know how to do it."
While he's waiting for the Who's next move, Daltrey is also supporting the launch of a Teenage Cancer Trust in the U.S. He reports that UCLA has recently signed on to be one of the organization's medical center, and he predicts that "the way America is with philanthropy, I think you'll get it done a lot quicker than (the U.K.) did, once people are aware of the issue."