Roger Daltrey: Teenage Cancer Trust performances give back to music fans


he Who’s Roger Daltrey said his involvement with the Teenage Cancer Trust concert series is a “great way to give back” to the young people who have supported the careers of musicians for generations.

The 79-year-old singer helped launch the music and comedy event in 2000 to raise funds for the charity, which provides care and support for and with young people diagnosed with cancer.

Kasabian, Wet Leg, Underworld and Courteeners are among the star-studded cast who will be performing at London’s Royal Albert Hall from March 20th to 26th this year.

Daltrey, who will be fronting the series last night, told the PA news agency: “It’s really incredible how supportive the music and comedy industries have been. You have been so generous to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

“Maybe it’s understanding that their future audiences depend on that age group to grow up and support them.

“Where we really got involved all those years ago was that without the support of teenagers, we never would have had the careers we did. It’s a good way to give something back.”

As the concert series celebrates its 21st year and two years have been lost to the pandemic, Daltrey said he is thrilled with the cast and grateful for those who perform for charity, especially at a time when artists often focus on live Leaving performances as the elixir of life.

He explained that he had found it more difficult to recruit artists for the concerts as he felt the industry wasn’t spawning many new acts at the moment and that the older artists were the ones he approached when the shows started , now retire.

Among the musical veterans he hoped to recruit for this series was rock guitarist Jeff Beck, who died in January at the age of 78.

Daltrey revealed: “We lost Jeff Beck this year which was a terrible shock. He was one I had set out to do as a beacon of hope a night for us.

“He never said he would, but I was very keen to get him. I always have my wish list, which gets smaller every year as I get older.”

He added, “And the fact that artists today, unlike how we started all those years ago, depend on that part of their work for income.”

“Before we started they had record royalties, they add all these other things, bop and bits that gave them an income.

“Most of that has been stolen from the music business, from the artists. Record companies are making fortunes because now you just push a button and it’s all digital and go.

“So it’s left the artists in a little dilemma, because you’re asking them to do these shows and they all want to help, but you’re asking them to forego what is probably their most important payday – a show in London.

“Equally, when they do it, they all love it. Everyone who has ever done this charity event (gig) absolutely loves it that night, they are having a blast.

“We have learned to do the Albert Hall well – whatever we do, it has to be quality.”

Daltrey will also be back with his band mates this summer as The Who’s orchestral Hits Back UK tour kicks off in Hull on 6 July.

The band will perform music from their nearly 60-year career, including sections dedicated to the classic Tommy & Quadrophenia albums as well as other popular Who songs.

Referring to the group’s continued popularity, Daltrey said, “We’ve been very fortunate because Who music is a very distinct flavor.

“It’s never really the most popular rock, or the most popular ever, but it’s in a very unusual place.

“It doesn’t sit in a bag that dates, you play some of our records today and they sound as modern as the day they were released.

“I think it’s the style that (Pete) Townshend writes in and the position of his psychology that you wrote from that is so unlike anything else out there.”

Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall takes place from 20th to 26th March, tickets are available on the charity’s website. Roger Daltrey: Teenage Cancer Trust performances give back to music fans

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