Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Who: Roger Daltrey reveals cancer scare

After completing a 30-date tour in 2009, The Who’s Roger Daltrey realized something wasn’t right with his voice.

"My voice wasn't behaving in the normal way," Daltrey told CBS Los Angeles. "It was becoming hard work to sing. I just got lucky that somebody put me in touch with Steven Zeitels [Director of the Mass General Voice Center in Massachusetts]."

"He told me that he didn't like what he saw," explained Roger. "He took off what he could from the problem area on my vocal cord. He said it wasn't cancer but it was a pre-cancerous growth and you have to keep an eye on it."

Following the operation, Daltrey had to maintain his voice by not speaking. "I got depressed after he did the operation, during what I call the Big Silence. That's when I realized what it would be like to not have a voice."

Roger did recuperate and was on stage with The Who at the Super Bowl about six weeks later.

Daltrey, a supporter of UK’s Teenage Cancer Trust, is now having regular check-ups with Zeitels. He paid tribute to The Institute of Laryngology and Voice Restoration, a support group started by patients, saying: "It will give people who have no voice, not even a voice box, a voice again. And that's going to be an extraordinary achievement."

Meanwhile, Daltrey will take to the stage with The Who tonight (January 13) to play a show in aid of the Killing Cancer charity at London's HMV Hammersmith Apollo, along with Richard Ashcroft, Debbie Harry and Jeff Beck.

See the full Daltrey interview at CBS Los Angeles here.

The Who – medley
Super Bowl XLIV
Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL - February 7, 2010

See also:

The Who: Roger Daltrey rocks New Year’s Eve
The Who: new video inspired by Live At Leeds rerelease
The Who, Jeff Beck to play “A Concert For Killing Cancer”
The Who talk album, tour for 2011