"Have I got time to go to the bathroom?" 12 minutes with Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle will tell you everything you need to know about the tedium of touring

John Entwistle and Roger Daltrey looking bored
(Image credit: Tom Roche)

Back in early 1994, The Who's Roger Daltrey took New York by storm, selling out Carnegie Hall in record time with his tribute show, A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who. 

The evening featured a stellar array of guests, including Alice Cooper, the Spin Doctors, The Chieftains, Lou Reed and Linda Perry, alongside The Who's own Pete Townshend and John Entwistle. Such was the success of the project – which also broke the venue's gross box office record – that Daltrey decided to take the show on the road. 

The tour kicked off in July, but tickets sold poorly, and it's possible that events at the first show of the tour, at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison, Colorado, might have provided ample bounty for anyone looking for bad omens.  

Prior to the show, Daltrey and Who bandmate Entwistle – bassist on the tour – were interviewed on a live video feed. The whole thing is on YouTube, but for a real insight into the tedium that's the touring musician's constant companion, an edited highlights package called Roger Daltrey Gets Fed Up is the perfect primer.

The 12-minute clip has a narrative: initial patience, eventual frustration, and, finally, exasperation. There are technical issues. The interview starts and stops. The weather gets worse. Meanwhile, Roger Daltrey offers advice and provides a running commentary. 

"Try reversing the polarity on those cables. No, not that. On your input from your mains feed."

"Now I know why I threw my cellular phone out the window. Hate the sodding things."

"We're in trouble here. We can't get through to anyone."

"Have I got time to go to the bathroom?"

Daltrey unplugs and heads off in the direction of the facilities, leaving Entwistle alone on camera. Sensitive to the conditions, he applies some lip balm. Then he carefully examines the packaging. And he yawns.

Daltrey returns from his ablutions. There's a clap of thunder. Some clicks and buzzes. And a disembodied electronic voice that intones, "I'm sorry, but your call cannot be completed as dialled."

"I'm getting fed up," explains Daltrey. "I'm really getting fed up. I'm ready to leave. I'm really sick. I'm pissed off."

And then it starts raining. 

"Can we do this when it's not pissing with rain?", asks Daltrey, perhaps rhetorically. "I've had enough. I'm off!"

The disembodied voice speaks again: "Please check the number, and dial again."

A sheet of protective plastic is placed over the camera. 

The rain continues. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.