Roger Daltrey says that the issues of alienation found in the Who's Quadrophenia easily apply to today's youth. Daltrey and Pete Townshend are currently leading the band through Quadrophenia's second revival, performing the 1973 double album in it's entirety for the first time in over 15 years. Daltrey told The Columbus Dispatch that teenagers' problems never really change over the decades, explaining, "I've never met someone who always fit in. That period of your life, going through adolescence, that kind of story doesn't change. I think everyone goes through that. I don't think that there's any problem (relating). . . This is an album that holds together the most. There was no interference from other writers. It's obviously Pete's pinnacle."
Daltrey maintains that he's still finding new things in the piece night after night on the road: "It all comes, that energy. It is wonderful. We drive each other. It's still a work in progress -- very, very different from what we had in '97. I don't know how many years I'm going to be able to sing this music. My voice is great at the moment."
Pete Townshend was asked about how alienated a kid can really be these days in the age of the Internet and social media: "I think the situation is sharpened by that. If you're one of those people who gets left out of the loop -- if you can't do Twitter -- you must feel pretty lonely. And I do think, today, that's what's so extraordinary about social media. The Internet is getting faster, . . . but the idea (that) young people have a short attention span is just rubbish. Music is becoming such a richer, deeper field. When they find something they love, they'll give it their time and attention."
Pete Townshend touched upon the fact that Quadrophenia's hero, "Jimmy," embodies key characteristics of each member of the Who: "What I'm most proud of is the fact that, y'know, in the execution of the idea, that, y'know, each member of the band would offer something to this kid; whether it was still working for him was another story. 'Cause I think the story of Jimmy in Quadrophenia is that nothing seems to work for him anymore, except sitting in the rain and praying."
Original London Mod "Irish" Jack Lyons has been a friend of the Who's going on 50 years, and remains thrilled and flattered that Pete Townshend used his life as the springboard for the character of Jimmy, which Townshend derived from their many conversations: "I used to tell Townshend all this. (Laughs) And the amazing thing about it is that while he was nodding his head looking at me, with a whimsical smile on his face, he was studying me! So I mean (laughs), not only was he stealing my dance steps from the Goldhawk Club and reenacting them the following week at the Marquee; you could say that he owes me a great deal in the sense of. . . in the spiritual sense."
The Who's North American tour dates (subject to change):
February 21 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
February 22 - Atlantic City, NJ - Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
February 24 - Manchester, NH - Verizon Wireless Arena
February 26 - Providence, RI - Dunkin' Donuts Center
February 28 - New York, NY - Theater At Madison Square Garden (with Elvis Costello)