The Who’s Roger Daltrey Reveals the Sometimes-Painful Consequences of Swinging a Microphone Onstage

The Who has always been known as a dynamic live band, and one of the exciting stage moves for which frontman Roger Daltrey is famous is swinging his microphone above his head by its cord, then catching it. In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, the singer revealed that the maneuver has occasionally caused some painful injuries.

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Asked by the interviewer if he’d ever deliberately hit anyone with his mic, the 80-year-old rock legend replied, “I usually hit myself!”

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He explained, “Every time there’s been some mishap, the microphone has always swung back and hit me, either in the kneecap—which is very painful—or, even worse, in the crotch.”

Daltrey then noted that he’d only deliberately hit someone with his microphone once while performing.

“I don’t know who it was. All I know is that they’re sorry that they threw something that nearly took my eye out on stage,” he recalled. “I happened to see them do it. They were trapped in the crowd. And I was quite a good shot with that microphone.”

[RELATED: The Who’s Roger Daltrey on Pete Townshend’s Farewell Tour Comments: “I Won’t Do It with Someone Who Is Halfhearted”]

Daltrey told the newspaper that he started swinging his mic onstage to try to keep pace with his hyperactive bandmates.

“I twirled it because The Who was such a manic band, with [drummer Keith] Moon and [guitarist Pete] Townshend, that it enlivened my side of the stage,” he pointed out.

About Daltrey’s Upcoming Solo Concerts

Daltrey is scheduled to play a one-off concert on May 6 in San Diego, before returning to the U.S. for an 11-show run in June.

Daltrey’s solo backing band features Townshend’s younger brother, Simon, on guitar and backing vocals. Roger says the younger Townshend, who also is a longtime touring member of The Who, makes musical contributions to his live shows.

“I always use Simon Townshend; he’s been with me on my tours since 1994,” Daltrey noted. “We go back a long way—I used to change Simon’s nappies! He’s a sweetheart and he’s a great musician. There’s something about his voice when we sing harmonies, because it’s a [Pete] Townshend derivative. We work great together and I love him dearly.”

More About Daltrey’s 2024 Solo Tour

Daltrey’s concerts will offer a mix of acoustic and electric performances, featuring Who classics and deep cuts, songs from his solo career, and select covers. KT Tunstall will open most of the shows.

After the San Diego concert, Daltrey’s 2024 North American trek will run from June 10 show in Glenside, Pennsylvania, through a June 29 gig in at the Ravinia Festival near Chicago.

Tickets for Daltrey’s concerts are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

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Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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