Roger Daltrey recalled how late Who drummer Keith Moon could be “incredibly tragic,” especially toward the end of his life, when the singer received tearful late-night calls from his colleague.
Daltrey has been planning a biopic about Moon for some time, though he’s determined to make sure it doesn’t play too much to the larger-than-life perception of Moon’s life. He also ensured his recent memoir, Thanks a Lot Mr. Kibblewhite, portrayed Moon in a less comedic manner than some fans might have expected.
“Fans want to hear what they want to hear, and I don't really give a … ,” the frontman told the Los Angeles Times in a new interview. “Keith was, in a lot of ways, incredibly tragic. After we had the fight in Denmark [in 1965], we were very distant for two or three years. But toward the end I was one of the closest ones to him. Heather, my wife and I were the last ones picking up the phone at four in the morning to a crying Keith Moon on the other end.”
Daltrey also reflected on the difficulties of dealing with late bassist John Entwistle. “We called John ‘The Ox,’ and it was an apt name because he was so stubborn," he noted. "You couldn't have changed one bit about John Entwistle. He was going to be a rock star and live like a rock star, even if he didn't have the money. Hence we were always bailing him out.”
Despite his sometimes outspoken manner, Daltrey insisted he was a “sensitive” person. “That's why I'm a great singer," he explained. "To be a great singer you have to have empathy with the words you're singing, and you can't do that unless you're incredibly sensitive. Although I'm also someone who fights back ... which is why there were a few years there early on where I could have gone completely the wrong way.”
He also dismissed the suggestion of himself and Pete Townshend combining with Beatles survivors Paul McCartneyand Ringo Starr to make a single band of ’60s icons. “I’m going to see Paul soon, but I don’t think that would work,” he laughed. “I don’t think you could mix our music and the Beatles’ music.”