Roger Daltrey is noted as a founder of the legendary rock band The Who. After leaving London’s Acton County Grammar School in 1963, he formed a skiffle band called The Detours, then displayed an early genius by putting together unusual elements into a world-class performance. The unusual elements included Daltrey on vocals, John Entwistle on bass and Pete Townshend on lead guitar. In 1965 they added drummer Keith Moon, and the fabulous line-up was complete. The band was remarkable for the synthesis of personalities: Townshend’s art-school sensibilities; Daltrey’s down-to-earth interpretation; and Entwistle’s and Moon’s skill as performers. They were first noted for deafening shows and for smashing their instruments in ferocious displays of auto-destructive art, but they went on to considerable chart success through original songs written by Townshend and the more humor-oriented Entwistle. Townshend wrote the first rock mini-opera for their second album, and after their first tour of America, the band presented the full-length rock opus Tommy, which shattered barriers and established The Who as a major artistic force in the world of music. Daltrey released his first solo album in 1973, and followed that with a number of solo chart successes. He also established a stage and (somewhat offbeat) film career after starring in the movie of Tommy (1975). He pursued films more steadily after the death of drummer Moon, and turned to production with the drama McVicar (1980). The band continued to perform sporadically with different drummers and John Bundrick on keyboard, but returned to full force in the 1990s with the addition of Zak Starkey on drums. Though Townshend is noted as the songwriter and lead guitarist of The Who, Daltrey remains the genius who drives their performances. His energy and stage presence established The Who at the monumental Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Isle of Wight music festivals, and his instincts for production carved their path through the era of stadium rock. The filmography of musical performances stand as the best evidence of Daltrey’s brilliance as both a musician and a stage performer.
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