Roger Daltrey (RD): Hi Robert. How are you?
Robert Silverstein (RS):
Roger! Itís a real honor
to speak with you. Back in Ď65 when I was 11, one of my proudest
possessions was The Whoís Decca single of "I Canít
Explain". I was one of your earliest teenybopper fans here in New
RD: Oh fantastic. Wow. For an eleven year old thatís
RS: And ever since then Iíve been a huge Who fan. I
just want to start by saying, seeing The Who on stage at the Concert For
NY Fundraiser in Madison Sq. Garden on Oct 20th will surely give
a sense of spirit and strength to those whoíll be there as well as the
millions tuning in show. How did The Who come to get involved in the
October 20th Concert For New York at the Garden?
RD: We were asked to do it by Harvey Weinstein and you
canít say no. I mean, itís as simple as that. I mean those people
gave their lives. The least we could do is give our time. Itís as
simple as that. Weíre all in this together. Weíve all got to pull
together on this. And weíve got to get on with life. Weíve got to
learn to laugh again. Weíve got to learn to enjoy ourselves again,
otherwise, these lunatics out there - because thereís no compromise
with these people - have won.
RS: Theyíre telling us to carry on with our usual
activities otherwise the terrorists win.
RD: Well you have got to. I mean, we have had terrorism
in England for a long time, as you know, with the Irish problem. So you
do get used to living with it. I mean itís never been on the scale
that you have it there. But thatís more by luck (and a series of alot
of events) than anything else. But I mean we lived with bombs for thirty
years, and people being blown up on the street. But you do get used to
it. And you do learn to live your life through it. And obviously every
life lost is a complete tragedy, in whatever conflict, but youíve got
to get on with life. Life is very precious. Itís there to be lived to
the max. You pull yourself back, and get there.
RS: On a lighter note, Iíve been playing the new
double disc Who DVD Live At The Royal Albert Hall just out on
Image Entertainment. The sound and video are simply stunning and the
sound is so tight itís almost like The Who never broke up...
RD: We didnít break up! We just stopped touring. And
we did stop touring. You have to remember the touring that we stopped
was non-stop on the road and we just had enough of it. And we didnít
tour for eight years and (then) we did a kind of reunion tour. Yíknow
Pete kind of mooted that heíd left the band, but I donít think
spiritually heíd ever left it.
RS: Was that the first time The Who played The Albert
RD: Oh no we played many, many times.
RS: The Royal Albert Hall DVD features The Who as a five
piece with Rabbit on keyboards and Ringoís son Zak Starkey on drums.
Zakís playing is great and it sounds very Keith Moon inspired.
RD: Well it is. Moon was Zakís tutor. Ringo gave Zak
his first drum kit, then unfortunately they were going through a nasty
divorce. Moon was a really good friend of the family and actually taught
Zak to bang the skins. To turn the drum sticks around and use the fat
RS: Is Zak a member of The Who now?
RD: Well we just love him as a person considering what
heís been through in his life. Extraordinary, imagine what being the
son of a Beatle is. Iíve got the utmost respect for him as a musician
and as a human being. Fantastic guy.
RS: The Royal Albert Hall DVD features a great balance
of early, middle and later period Who songs. With so many great songs to
choose from, how did you select the tunes that ended up on the new DVD?
RD: Itís the biggest problem we get with The Who. Yíknow
everybody says, we want a new album, we want a new album, which we are
going to try and produce, but we still got the problem that we canít
play what everybody wants to hear at one of our shows at the moment. So
you kind of just pick the ones that you think will make a really good
performance, you go through a few obscure ones for the real Who fans and
you keep the popular ones in there for people that have never seen The
Who before. Itís kind of a juggling act. You canít please all the
people all the time. You do your best.
RS: It was also great to see new revivals of "The
Relay" and "Letís See Action" on the new DVD. Wasnít
"The Relay" part of Pete Townsendís original Lifehouse
RS: Looking back on the song what do you think Pete was
expressing in "The Relay"?
RD: Talking about what a songís trying to say is like
talking about art (laughter). Yíknow, I think itís in the eye of the
beholder and the ear of the listener. (You hear) one line, and so many
people will get two completely different things from it. So I donít
like to talk about those things.