Roger Daltrey: I would have welcomed death during meningitis battle

Roger Daltrey
Roger Daltrey (Image credit: Getty)

Roger Daltrey admits that he “would have welcomed” death during his harrowing battle with viral meningitis last year.

The band were forced to postpone shows until February this year after the lead singer was diagnosed with the disease, which causes inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. And Daltrey admits that it has had a lasting effect on him.

He tells Rolling Stone: “I’m not bullshitting you – the meningitis last year took quite a heavy toll on me physically. My legs aren’t good. My feet aren’t good.

“But I think being able to manage it with the adrenaline of the show, that’s all the matters. It’s two hours of losing myself and forgetting about my feet. But when I come off…”

He continues: “When I look back at it I’m so lucky to be here. I got a peace of mind out of it that I’ve never had before. That’s kind of nice.

“When you get a shave as close as that from the reaper, it’s weird. I was totally peaceful. If death would have come, I would have welcomed it.

“I was in such agony. But then it all went, and I felt this very peaceful space. It was weird. That’s the one thing I remember as clear as day, that feeling. And any time I get stressed now, I just think of that and the worries go away.”

The Who have scheduled a string of shows in Europe over the coming months.

The Who tour dates 2016

Jun 14: Toulouse Zenith Du Toulouse, France
Jun 16: Madrid Barajas Airport, Spain
Jun 18: Bilbao Azkena Bilbao, Spain
Aug 29: Glasgow SSE Hydro, UK
Aug 31: Manchester Arena, UK
Sep 03: Sheffield Arena, UK
Sep 05: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena, UK
Sep 07: Liverpool Waterfront Echo Arena, UK
Sep 10: Oberhausen Konig Pilsener Arena, Germany
Sep 12: Stuttgart Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Germany
Sep 14: Vienna Wiener Stadthalle, Austria
Sep 17: Bologna Casalecchio Di Reno, Italy
Sep 19: Milan Mediolanum Forum, Italy

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Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.