The story of The Who is one of the great tales of the classic rock era, combining the best and worst elements of the canon: From musical brilliance born of hardscrabble roots, to the thrills and the tragedy of living too close to the edge.
Tomorrow night, on VH1, that story will be told as it never has
before in "Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who," a two-hour documentary featuring extensive interviews with Who members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey and many of their associates and contemporaries, plus rare footage of the band members when they were just wee British youth.
The special, which will also be released on DVD next week and re-run numerous times on both VH1 and VH1 Classic, is one of the better rock docs of the past several years, delving into the band's history not just chronologically but emotionally as it deeply explores the loving but strained relationships that fueled the band's manic energy.
Bankrate spoke with Daltrey about the film, the band, the music business and his true feelings on Townshend and late Who drummer Keith Moon.
Bankrate: How would you define your relationship with Pete these days?
Roger Daltrey: I feel that where we are now feels right for our age. Now we know how to talk to each other and we know how to listen to each other, which is really important. I think previous to that, we did a lot of talking in ways that each of us didn't understand, and we didn't do an awful lot of listening at times, and that obviously created friction, especially on the road.
Bankrate: Now that you're both more mature and have this deeper relationship, do you find deeper insights into Pete's work?
Roger Daltrey: I very rarely listen to it. My love of Who music is to perform it. So the only time I really hear it is when I'm singing it. I live it. That's the only way I could explain it to you.
Bankrate: Is there still a touch of the famed animosity or tension between you, or has that washed away?
Roger Daltrey: I think there always will be a musical tension, because we fire each other. We challenge each other musically. But the tensions off the stage ... obviously we have our ups and downs, and life isn't a bed of roses for anybody. Where the tension is needed is in the music, and that still exists. Something happens to his songs. If I sing them on my own it'll be one thing; if Pete sings them on his own it'll be another thing. If we do the song together, something happens to it. We just accept that that's our gift, and we're thankful that we have it.
Bankrate: You talk in the film about how "Tommy" gave you your voice in the band. Did you know from the beginning it would be this special thing for you?
Roger Daltrey: No.