Home » How about this: “Roger Daltrey’s Unease: Understanding Why The Who Frontman Felt Threatened by Punk Bands”

How about this: “Roger Daltrey’s Unease: Understanding Why The Who Frontman Felt Threatened by Punk Bands”

Change remains an inherent force in the realm of music, ushering in new genres, transforming existing ones, and occasionally sparking clashes between established and emerging sounds. Such a collision unfolded in the late 1970s with the seismic rise of punk rock—a movement that even left an indelible mark on stalwarts like Roger Daltrey from The Who.

Daltrey’s journey with punk commenced with the release of the song ‘Who Are You?’ and turned into a rollercoaster of emotions. In a 2015 interview with Uncut, the iconic frontman candidly shared his initial encounters with the punk movement, revealing a sense of threat. Daltrey expressed:

“We received tremendous praise from some of the new punk bands. They spoke highly of The Who, claiming we were the sole survivor after they had dismantled the rest of the establishment! But initially, I felt threatened by the punk phenomenon. It was like, ‘Well, they think they’re tough, but we’re tougher.’ It stirred unease in my vocals.”

“Experiencing the Influence of Punk”

Daltrey delved further into how his discomfort manifested in ‘Who Are You?’: “When I revisit ‘Who Are You?,’ I can sense the intense aggression it brought out in me. But that’s precisely what the song was about—anger, aggression, being a rebel! It took me a few years to realize the positive impact punk had on the music industry. In 1982, we toured with the Clash, bringing them along to the US, and I absolutely enjoyed watching them perform. I remain a devoted fan of Joe Strummer to this day.”

How about this: “Daltrey Reflects on the Positive Impact of Punk”

The singer’s perspective on punk appears to have undergone a transformation over the years. In 1977, during an interview with Rolling Stone, he recognized the surge of passion and discontent among English punk bands, acknowledging a significant shift. He remarked:

“It’s relieved some pressure for us in a way. We’ll maintain our aggression, but perhaps we can now explore musical territories we’ve never dared to before. If we seem seasoned now, it’s because we’ve been championing the cause for the last 15 years. We were the punks of the Sixties. They’re like I was; I was trying to discover myself. I’ve found myself now; it’s not perfect, but I’m very content.”

Daltrey went on to express an appreciation for the core of punk, recognizing its foundation in anger and social critique. He acknowledged the genuine concerns that fueled the punk movement, such as unemployment and societal inequalities.

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