Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have never been the closest of friends despite being the only remaining stalwarts of The Who’s original line-up that still tour with the band today. It has perhaps bizarrely played some part in their longevity and seen them become icons of the rock world.
Down in no small part to The Who’s uncanny ability to play a rock show. In the sixties, they were the feverish youths looking to smash instruments and tear up the stage but by the latter part of their career as a foursome, the group created mammoth sets full to the brim with classics. But which song did Pete Townshend hate playing live most?
The answer is revealed in a recently unearthed vintage interview where The Who’s iconic guitarist, Townshend discusses his least favourite song to play live and his reasoning is almost entirely down to singer Daltrey’s love for the song.
A prime example of how the two manage to tolerate each other rather than embrace each other is 2019’s record Who which is only their second record in 37 years and was recorded in remote locations so they didn’t have to see each other. The album was recorded in London and Los Angeles, with the two only being in the same building once during the entire recording process but didn’t cross paths even then. During recording, they communicated through their individual producers so they didn’t have to speak directly to one another.
The two just innately irritate each other which is remarkable considering how long they have been in a band together for and how this certainly is no recent beef. Another example of how if one does one thing, the other goes out their way to do the other was when Roger Daltrey spoke about his ardent support for the Brexit campaign and Townshend was vocal in his support for remain saying to The Telegraph: “I’m a Remainer, he [Roger Daltrey] is a Brexiteer. I believe in God, he doesn’t.”
In a rare video that we have unearthed at the Far Out offices where Townshend speaks of the song, he hates to play live it transpires that he doesn’t actually hate the song but just Daltrey’s performance of it: “‘Dreaming From The Waist’ is the song that I hate more than anything on earth, I think I hate it most because it’s the one Roger used to like to play.”
Then Townshend remembers another song where Daltrey’s live performance irritates him even greater than the aforementioned track, revealing: “I think actually ‘Sister Disco’ qualifies, yeah ‘Sister Disco’ I hate even more than ‘Dreaming From The Waist’ because there is a point in which every time we’ve done it where Roger comes over to me, stands next to me and makes some kind of soppy smile, which is supposed to communicate some kind of Everly Brothers relationship we have for the audience, which isn’t actually there.”
The iconic guitarist continues, “It’s supposed to be an act where I’m supposed to collude like ‘we know each other very well we look like enemies but we are friends really’ kind of look. Often that will be the moment where I look him in the face and go ‘you fucking wanker’ and he gets angry when I do that” he says amidst a fit of laughter.
Watch footage of The Who playing ‘Sister Disco’ below and see if you can spot a disgruntled Townshend unloading a barrage of expletives at his bandmate.