Roger Daltrey said he doesn’t know if the Who will ever tour the U.S. again.
Speaking to USA Today, Daltrey expressed reservations about the band returning to the U.S. The Who is currently scheduled to tour Europe and the U.K. in the coming months. “There is only one tour we could do, an orchestrated Quadrophenia to round out the catalog,” he said. “But that’s one tall order to sing that piece of music, as I’ll be 80 next year. I never say never, but at the moment it’s very doubtful.”
Daltrey explained how the pandemic and other financial factors have made touring a challenge in recent years. “We cannot get insured, and most of the big bands doing arena shows, by the time they do their first show and rehearsals and get the staging and crew together, all the buses and hotels, you’re upwards $600,000 to a million in the hole,” he said. “To earn that back, if you’re doing a 12-show run, you don’t start to earn it back until the seventh or eighth show. That’s just how the business works. The trouble now is if you get COVID after the first show, you’ve [lost] that money.”
Pete Townshend has also previously expressed doubt about touring. In 2022, he explained to Rolling Stone that while the Who has no official plans to come off the road, he does want to wind things down eventually.
“I had a conversation with Roger,” Townshend said. “I said to him, ‘I don’t want to be like one of these guys that dies on tour.’ I do want to retire. And by ‘retire’ I don’t mean retire from being a musician or artist or creator, but retire from the idea that it requires me to say yes to touring for a load of people to get a smile on their face and go home to their wife and go, ‘Hey, honey! Everything is fine! The Who are going back on tour!’
“To be relieved of that responsibility, in a sense … because Roger is of the opinion that he wants to sing until he drops. That’s not my philosophy of life. There are other things that I want to do, still want to do, and will do, I hope. I hope I’ll live long enough to do them.”
The Who recently released The Who With Orchestra Live at Wembley, which was recorded at the band’s 2019 concert at London’s Wembley Stadium.
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