Wednesday 15 August 2018

The Who’s Roger Daltrey: ‘I survived meningitis and was given a second chance’

The singer tells Graham Norton about his new album and the effect the illness had on his life.

Roger Daltrey performs during filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks in London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Roger Daltrey performs during filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks in London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Kerri-Ann Roper, Press Association Entertainment Editor

Singer Roger Daltrey has said he feared he would “not make it” as he battled viral meningitis in 2015.

The Who lead singer and founder, 74, was diagnosed with the illness while the band was on the road forcing them to postpone all 50 dates on their North American tour.

ipanews_32c9617f-90e7-4533-90db-77d26e5f9263_embedded235968527
The Graham Norton Show

He told The Graham Norton Show: “It was weird. I didn’t think I would make it. It was life-changing. I thought about my life and my family and what I had done and thought, ‘How lucky did it get.’

“I survived and was given a second chance. I have the album, I’m touring and I have a book out later in the year.”

He is due to release a new album titled As Long As I Have You and a memoir.

“Performing solo has always been a hobby, but this one I have taken seriously,” he said of the new album.

“Part way through creating it I became disillusioned. I was very ill with meningitis and when I recovered and went back to recording I thought it was rubbish and tried to buy it back from the record company to shelve it. Pete (Townshend) took a look and what he did with the songs blew me away.”

ipanews_32c9617f-90e7-4533-90db-77d26e5f9263_embedded235968529
The Graham Norton Show

He says he wanted to write a book about “what it was like being in the middle of that world. We were in an industry that we were making up as we went along”.

Commenting on the rock band’s “wild days” from early on in their career, he told Norton it was “mostly Keith Moon and Pete Townshend”.

He added: “We thought it was a great jest at the time but looking back, it’s not very funny.”

The Graham Norton show airs on BBC One on April 13 at 10.35pm

Press Association

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top