Keith Moon, The Who's founding drummer, died three weeks after the band released Who Are You in 1978. John Entwistle, the Who's founding bassist, died of a heart attack the night before the band's 2002 U.S. tour, causing the band to reschedule a pair of dates. And Pete Townshend, the band's guitarist and primary songwriter, suffers from debilitating hearing loss. But Roger Daltrey, The Who's vocalist, just keeps the oldies coming. Before bringing Tommy, the band's classic concept record, to KeyArena on Tuesday, Daltrey took a few questions about his decidedly nostalgic bent:
ROGER DALTREY PERFORMS THE WHO'S TOMMY KeyArena, Seattle Center, keyarena.com, 684-0761. $50â€“$145 via Ticketmaster. 7:30 p.m. Tues., Oct. 25.
SW: On this tour you're performing Tommy, and you mentioned that Pete Townshend was kicking around the idea of touring behind Quadrophenia next year. These are albums in the neighborhood of 40 years old. Can you pinpoint the moment when you realized that your audience was more interested in what you'd recorded in the past than in what you would do in the present and future?
Daltrey: I don't know that that's necessarily true [that] they're not interested in what we're doing for the future. We haven't got anything planned for the future. There's a whole new, young audience for Who music. It doesn't seem to have dated at all. There's a lot of music from that period that you put it on and it sounds very dated. There's something about Who music, and it sounds as up-to-date as ever.
But I don't know whether it's true that they're more interested in that. It's just that while we can do it, we have every right to do it. It's our music. We created it. We should be able to play it as long as we want to.
Absolutely. But is there a reason you've decided to revisit older records rather than move forward?
Maybe because [Townshend] hasn't written anything. Everyone writes himself out in the end. There's something about our past that kind of points to the fact that every time we do tour, new music seems to come out of Pete Townshend.
Are you working on new music yourself, for the future?
I have ideas and I'm trying. I'll never be the quality of songwriter that Pete Townshend was. I'm aware of that. I'm very happy to have had my position as the singer of those songs. But I am working on ideas, and I've got a fabulous band of musicians. There are areas I do want to explore. But it's very interesting these days because there isn't a record industry anymore.
Any plans or interest in doing something new, away from The Who, away from Pete Townshend at this point, perhaps in the way Robert Plant worked with Alison Krauss?
I'd love to find someone to collaborate with. I'd love to do something with Eddie Vedder, for instance. He's a good writer and a good friend, too. If anyone's got some great ideas, or great songs, get in touch with my management.