Fifty years ago this week, as The Who were winding up their first European tour in Denmark, Roger Daltrey was fired, albeit briefly, from the band. Exasperated by the band’s drug intake and the knock on effect it was having on their playing each night, he flushed the band’s purple hearts and speed pills down the toilet.
An incensed Keith Moon hit the singer with a tambourine, which, on reflection, was probably a mistake. As Daltrey told Classic Rock, “I had a really bad fight with Keith. That was over drugs, because the playing had gone really, really downhill. We were on our first tour of Europe and I slung the drugs away, because it was purple hearts and speed and it just was a fucking mess. I thought, ‘This band’s going to self-destruct.’”
Daltrey found himself expelled from the band for a week and then put on probation with the promise that there’d be no more violent outbursts: “I thought if I lost the band I was dead.” Said Daltrey, “If I didn’t stick with The Who, I’d be a sheet metal worker for the rest of my life.”
On June 25, 2013, while performing on their Quadrophenia and More Tour, Daltrey sat down backstage with Nicky Horne for The Classic Rock Magazine Show to reflect on that album’s genesis, Keith Moon and John Entwhistle, his relationship with Pete Townshend and a life in music.
As he tells Nicky Horne, “We were always just striving for the best as a band. And Pete and I never got on badly, but when I disagree with something then I’ll say so and not many people tend to say that to Pete, so maybe that’s why we were at loggerheads, but there’s a chemistry there, like there always was with the four of us. That was The Who and we were very lucky to find each other.”
To read more about the heady days (and nights) of The Who then click on the link below.