The Book Cellar
The frontman of one of the greatest bands of all time tells the story of his rise from nothing to rock 'n' roll megastar, and his wild journey as the voice of The Who.
“It’s taken me three years to unpack the events of my life, to remember who did what when and why, to separate the myths from the reality, to unravel what really happened at the Holiday Inn on Keith Moon’s 21st birthday,” says Roger Daltrey, the powerhouse vocalist of The Who. The result of this introspection is a remarkable memoir, instantly captivating, funny and frank, chock-full of well-earned wisdom and one-of-a-kind anecdotes from a raucous life that spans a tumultuous time of change in Britain and America.
Born during the air bombing of London in 1944, Daltrey fought his way (literally) through school and poverty and began to assemble the band that would become The Who while working at a sheet metal factory in 1961. In Daltrey’s voice, the familiar stories—how they got into smashing up their kit, the infighting, Keith Moon’s antics—take on a new, intimate life. Also here is the creative journey through the unforgettable hits including My Generation, Substitute, Pinball Wizard, and the great albums, Who’s Next, Tommy, and Quadrophenia. Amidst all the music and mayhem, the drugs, the premature deaths, the ruined hotel rooms, Roger is our perfect narrator, remaining sober (relatively) and observant and determined to make The Who bigger and bigger. Not only his personal story, this is the definitive biography of The Who.
Named a ‘BEST BOOK’ OF 2018 by Kirkus & The Guardian
"Unaffected, lucid, and entertaining: One of the best rock memoirs in recent memory. " —Kirkus (starred review)
"Colorful. . . .The curly-haired, microphone-swinging, full-throated frontman of The Who brings a Cockney conversationalism to the story of his life and complicated relationship with his legendary bandmates."—USA TODAY (3.5/4-star review)
"A working-class brawler, a delinquent tea boy in a sheet metal factory, discovers within himself the psychic-emotional circuitry to conduct some of the rarest electricity in rock ’n’ roll. It’s like a Who song. 'Empathy, that’s the root of it all,' he writes at the end of his book . . . Daltrey’s peculiar swaggering selflessness is the key to this book, and a key (one of four) to the Who . . . How many rock memoirs actually have a meaning?"—The New York Times Book Review
"Vivid, atmospheric and funny, and, because of [Daltrey's] aversion to mind-altering substances, it's probably one of the more reliable accounts of life in one of the world's biggest rock bands."—The Guardian
"He wasn’t just the right front man for The Who, but the perfect front man. . . . Daltrey relays a number of familiar stories from the Who biography – but with the added insight of his perspective."—Houston Press