5 Fascinating Facts About The Who’s Roger Daltrey

Happy 80th Birthday to The Who’s lead singer, Roger Daltrey, who was born March 1, 1944. The London-born vocal juggernaut has had an impressive career with his famous band that’s spanned over 60 years, and he’s also made his mark as a solo artist, an actor, and a philanthropist.

Videos by American Songwriter

Here are five fascinating facts about the lauded entertainer:

Daltrey Was Expelled from Grammar School at Age 15

As Daltrey explained in his 2018 memoir Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story, he had been a problem student at Acton County Grammar School, and hated being bothered by the teachers.

[Buy Roger Daltrey Concert Tickets]

He’d already gotten in trouble for smoking, being disruptive in class, and truancy, but his time at the institution came to an end the day he decided to bring an air gun to school. That day, a friend had taken the gun and shot it, and the ricocheting pellet hit another classmate in the eye.

While the friend who shot the gun wasn’t punished, Daltrey was expelled from school by the headmaster, Mr. Kibblewhite. Daltrey says he recalled the school official telling him that day, “You’ll never make anything of your life, Daltrey.”

[RELATED: 5 Roger Daltrey Solo Highlights in Honor of The Who Frontman]

While Daltrey initially began working as a laborer, he credits getting kicking out of school with putting him on a path that led to his music career. Hence, the title of his autobiography.

Daltrey Only Has Three Songwriting Credits with The Who

The Who’s main songwriter has always been the talented and prolific Pete Townshend, while bassist John Entwistle also had a knack for composing memorable tunes. So it’s not surprising that Daltrey’s songwriting contributions to the band are meager at best.

Daltrey is credited co-writing one of the group’s early hit singles with Townshend, “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere.” The 1965 tune, which was the band’s second single, peaked at No. 10 on the U.K. charts.

Daltrey’s only full songwriting credits for The Who are the tunes “See My Way” and “Here for More.” “See My Way” is a throwaway track from the band’s 1966 sophomore album, A Quick One, which was released in the U.S. the following year under the title Happy Jack. “Here for More” is a country rock-flavored song that was issued as the B-side of The Who’s 1970 single “The Seeker.”

He’s Acted in a Lot of Movies and TV Shows

Daltrey made his acting debut in a role that was tailor-made for him, as the deaf, dumb, and blind Tommy Walker in director Ken Russell’s 1975 film adaptation of The Who’s 1969 rock opera Tommy. In 1976, he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture category for Tommy.

Daltrey went on to appear in more than a dozen more movies. Among his other noteworthy film roles include portraying composer Franz Liszt in Russell’s bizarro 1975 comic biopic Lisztomania, and as the lead in the 1980 biographical drama McVicar. For the latter flick, about the British bank robber-turned-author John McVicar, Daltrey also recorded a hit soundtrack album.

Daltrey also appeared in dozens of television shows, including Tales from the Crypt, Highlander, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Rude Awakening, Witchblade, That ’70s Show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and many more.

He Has Eight Confirmed Children

Daltrey married his first wife, Jackie Rickman, in 1964, and she gave birth to their son, Simon, later that year. The couple divorced in 1968. In 1967, Daltrey had a second son, Mathias, with Swedish model Elisabeth Aronsson.

Daltrey met second and current wife, U.K.-born model Heather Taylor, in 1968 and married her in 1971. They have three children—daughters Rosie Lea and Willow Amber (born in 1972 and 1975, respectively), and son Jamie (born in 1981).

During the 1990s, Daltrey also discovered that he had fathered three more daughters in the late 1960s, apparently in the period between his two marriages.

Daltrey also has 15 grandchildren.

He’s Received Some Prestigious Honors

Daltrey was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Who in 1990.

On December 31, 2004, Daltrey was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II’s in her New Year’s Honours List. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Music, the Entertainment Industry and Charity. Daltrey’s charitable work includes his patronage of the U.K.’s Teenage Cancer Trust, which supports teens and young adults stricken with the disease.

In 2005, Daltrey was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame with The Who. In 2008, he and Townshend were honored as part the 31st annual Kennedy Center Honors event in Washington, D.C.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Leave a Reply

The Obsessive Meaning Behind “Hysteria” by Muse