Pete Townshend says that Roger Daltrey stayed far away from the most recent Who sessions. The band will release its 12th studio set, titled simply, WHO, on December 12th. Although Daltrey never records his vocals during the Townshend-led instrumental trackings, the guitarist was confused as to why Daltrey didn't even want to touch base with their core team — even on a social level.
Townshend recalled to Mojo: “Roger chose not to visit the studio once. Not once. He didn’t even pop in to say hello. (Drummer) Zak (Starkey) and (bassist) Pino (Palladino) and my brother Simon (Townshend) and I were putting down tracks, and Roger didn’t come. He could’ve come. Everybody else came, but he didn’t. That’s kind of. . . sad. So I wish he was here to discuss it. I don’t think it was rudeness. I just think he wanted to keep the clarity of his vision. Roger’s been quoted recently as saying, 'Pete sent me these songs and they were great but I needed to turn them into Who songs. . .' And I’m not exactly sure what he means.”
Townshend added that the long-awaited album is comprised of almost all-new music: “One exception is 'Hero Ground Zero,' which is the opening orchestral track of my (upcoming solo) Age Of Anxiety opera thing. I wanted that on the album to create a link between what I’m doing with Roger and the Who and what I plan to do next. Roger had heard that song, I sent it to him three years ago, and he loved it. 'Guantanamo' (also known as 'Ball And Chain') was another never intended to go on this album, but Roger wanted to do them. Our A&R guy at Polydor, Richard O’Donovan, loved the demos and suggested we try them. They came out great.”
Pete Townshend told us that the Who feels lucky having the team they have supporting the band at the label: “Universal have a department with which the band and our managers have a very good relationship, which are the catalogue guys — they look after the band catalogue. We've always gotten along well with them. There's always been a lot of sympathy between us. And, y'know, the Who doesn't have an enormous catalogue, and what we do have really needs to be taken care of quite carefully and they've always done that.”
As he had done at the Who's Wembley Stadium show this summer, Eddie Vedder joined the band on Saturday night (October 19th) to perform the Quadrophenia classic, “The Punk And The Godfather.”