The Who Concert Could Have Gone On Even With A Voiceless Roger Daltrey
Some Fans Have Always Prefered Townshend's Solo Records Over Much Of The Who's Stuff
Pete Townshend Would Have Been A Welcomed Replacement As Lead Singer
So much for their idea of "Long Live Rock, as the song promised fifty years ago. The famous British Invasion band could not even get through eight songs at a recent concert in Houston, due to lead vocalist Roger Daltrey having lost his voice.
The band promised the crowd, as well as those who had already purchased tickets for the concerts in Dallas and Denver, that the Who would honor their tickets at a make-up concert still to be scheduled. Most fans would have been understanding, even though they had probably had to fork over twenty dollars for parking and at least ten for gas or a ride share service for which there would be no refund.
Had I been at that Houston show, rather than have to wait until a later date to see the Who, I would have preferred to see them finish the concert without Daltrey. They might have needed to omit some of the biggest hits from the set, but guitarist Pete Townshend could have taken over the vocalist duty and still make it a worthwhile show.
In addition to being the primary lyricist for the group, Townshend often sang lead or at least some of the verses on many songs by the Who. Not only could be have performed some of those, but he also could have selected from among the numerous gems in his solo catalogue such as "Slit Skirt" or "Jools and Jim" or "Rough Boys."
Here are ten songs which Townshend could have sung to accommodate the crowd that had come to hear the band in Houston.
The Naked Eye
Townshend does the middle verse on this track from Odds and Sods, so it would sound not at all odd were he to voice the other two.
Pure and Easy
This tune first appeared in the debut solo album Who Came First, so most fans are already familiar with him taking the lead.
Daddy's usually gruff vocal is a little high pitched on tis hit from Who's Next, making it a perfect match for Townshend's tenor.
Already covering the bridge, Pete would not sound at all out of place throughout this opening single from It's Hard.
Blue, Red and Grey
His vocal is the only one in this Who By Numbers cut, which he could authentically recreate if he had handy the mandolin he plays on it.
Behind Blue Eyes
Again, the acoustic first half of this Who's Next hit captures Daltrey an octave higher than usual, a perfect fit for Pete until the electric climax with the cracking open of the clenched fist.
Townshend does lead vocal in the most enduring single from It's Hard, making it a natural selection sans Daltrey.
The catchy pop rhythm backing this ode to an aging rocker from Face Dances, which already sounds as if it could have been included in the solo album Empty Glass, is a good match for Pete both musically and thematically.
The Song Is Over
In the same vein as album mate "Pure and Easy" Townshend's higher pitch could very well duplicate Daltrey here in what would serve as an ideal closer for the show.
It is practically a duet to begin with, so this Quadrophenia classic should sound natural even without Roger.