The Who’s Roger Daltrey still adores performing live. Despite the fact that his band have only released two studio albums since 1982 effort It’s Hard, the iconic group still sell-out huge stadiums across the globe on an almost annual basis—the joy they receive from their fans never gets old.
However, there is one song that The Who still roll out on a regular basis much to Daltrey’s displeasure. It would seem the musician would rather do anything else than perform a track which, according to the man himself, leaves him “bored shitless”.
Daltrey would make the sincere admission in an interview with Rolling Stone and, unfortunately for him, the song arrives with a certain expectation from the band’s loyal fan base, surely one he couldn’t deny the audience.
Daltrey, who was reflecting on his career to date, was asked he still had hopes of performing ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ once he is in his into his 80s. The Who frontman, who left no stone unturned in his candid response, quipped: “That’s the only song I’m bloody bored shitless with. I don’t know why, but I’m being honest.”
He then continued frankly: “All the others I can approach like I’m singing for the first time. I don’t know what’s happening there psychologically. Maybe it’s the song, but I never seem to be in the same pocket where I’m singing it for the firsts time.” It must be a difficult intensity to reach time after time.
‘Won’t Get Fooled Again‘ is easily and widely regarded as one of Daltrey’s finest performances. His famous scream that features on the song has solidified itself as something of rock legend over the last 50 years. The track was the main single from their fifth record, Who’s Next, which was released in 1971 and also spawned ‘Baba O’Riley’ and ‘Behind Blue Eyes’.
The track is a stalwart of The Who’s imposing live-sets, with it now being performed acoustically by just Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend in the last couple of years which, admittedly, may have had something to do with Daltrey’s remarks with the group deciding on a compromise to appease him and avoid pushing the ageing singer to the end of his rope.
In the same 2018 interview, Daltrey also expressed ill feelings towards the band’s 1982 album It’s Hard, stating: “At the time, I didn’t like It’s Hard. I think there are some great tracks on it. ‘Cry if You Want’ is a great track. I think it was a little over-produced, a bit cleaned up. But there were some things that were quite interesting.”
The musician also revealed that he has absolutely no interest in touring the 1967 album The Who Sells Out in full because that would mean he had to play ‘Rael’. Daltrey explained: “I don’t want to ever sing ‘Rael’ onstage. That was done in the studio.
“I think it was New York, but I don’t remember. It was all tape-looped and double-tracked on two tape recorders. Bouncing across it was layers after layers of vocals. Just trying to bloody reinvent that would be a nightmare.”