It also gave him the chance to unleash any pent-up emotions and tell his side of the sibling-like rivalry he had with Pete Townshend, The Who’s only other surviving full-time member after the deaths of drummer Keith Moon in 1978 and bassist John Entwistle in 2002.
Before tackling “A Second Out,” which appeared on his Moonlighting anthology, Daltrey related to a rowdy audience, using a mocking tone to imitate Townshend, “I’ve written a few songs in my time. And one time, Pete said, ‘Well, I don’t want to write these fucking songs anymore; you write them.’ So I said, ‘Well, I’m not the best songwriter, Pete, I’ll do my best. ... So I came to write six or seven songs, and this is one of them. And I played them for Pete, who said, ‘They’re crap.’ So I’m going to play this ‘crap’ song for you.”
Daltrey has pledged to be ready when Townshend decides to reunite for another tour, and says he is using this time to get himself and his voice in shape for that eventuality. “The object of this exercise is to get this old fart off his ass,” the 65-year-old said, laughing at his personal dilemma.
Hopefully, one night in Denver’s rarefied air doesn’t destroy those lofty ambitions. Daltrey looked physically fit in blue jeans and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top, with only the tinted glasses and flecks of gray running through those once-golden locks betraying those boyishly handsome/leading man looks. But before the second song, a spirited version of the teen angst-driven “Pictures of Lily,” he admitted he would be tested by the mile-high altitude of Colorado.
After performing two nights earlier in San Diego, he said, “We had a really great day off yesterday. And when my voice has a day off, it doesn’t want to get up the next day. So I have to beat the shit out of it to get it to move again. ... My God, it’s dry in here. Is it me or is it dry in here?”
“It’s dry,” the crowd hollered in unison before another Wholigan suggested, “Have a beer.” Needing it repeated, Daltrey replied, “My ears didn’t get up this morning either. Have a beer? I’m really allergic to that stuff. Really. I’ll have a vodka, though. Load me up.”
Daltrey also was tossed a scarf after he struggled through the opening verse of “Behind Blue Eyes,” and he playfully wrapped it around his neck and head before starting over. It was a cheery moment that was equally entertaining on- and offstage.