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Who Are You… and Who Could You Have Been?

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By Davidwbaker – Photo taken by self at concert, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48938241

Roger Daltrey turned 80 three days ago. Much like Pete, he absolutely failed to die before he got old. My feelings about Roger are complicated. On the one hand, Daltrey is a critical presence on a few of the most important songs in the history of rock n’ roll. On the other hand… I have never been able to shake the sense that Daltrey just did not get Pete Townshend, certainly not in the way that Moon and Entwhistle got Townshend. And that sense has always left me with a feeling of loss; for everything that the Who accomplished, there might have been a better Who in Townshend’s most creative years that could have gone different directions and carved more interesting paths. I leave it to Scott and Elizabeth and Erik to think through what those paths might have looked like, but they probably would have been less popular yet more enduring. And this consequently leaves me with a certain bittersweetness (and this legitimately includes both the bitter and the sweet) about the fact that Townshend and Daltrey have essentially decided to work through their dotage together.

In any case, happy belated birthday to Mr. Roger Daltrey!

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