The Who’s songs are iconic, even spawning a rock opera and several movies. They are always innovating, with the band’s founding pair Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend remaining a constant on the rock stage. But are they also another classic pair of feuding artists who do not get on?
The Who were founded from a school band, with Daltrey, Townshend and John Entwistle, who all grew up in Acton.
By 1961, the band was In mid-1961, Townshend as a guitarist, Daltrey on lead guitar, Entwistle on bass, Harry Wilson on drums, and Colin Dawson on vocals.
Wilson was fired by 1962 and replaced by Doug Sandom, then Dawson left after arguing with Daltrey.
This led to Daltrey becoming the vocalist leaving Townshend as the only guitarist.
Sandom then left the band during their early career after arguing with Townshend, and eventually the band took on Keith Moon, with whom they first came to fame throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
Sadly, in 1978, Moon died after overdosing on clomethiazole, a drug prescribed to him to combat alcohol withdrawal.
Following this, they took on Kenney Jones as their drummer until they broke up in 1983 after Townshend left the band to work on solo material.
The band reunited and reformed at various points, with different people adding to their number at different times, until 2002 when Entwistle was found dead of a heart attack aged 57.
The band carried on performing, and have been pretty much a duo of Daltrey and Townshend with musicians filling in the other instruments live as well as on their new record, Who, which is released on December 6.
However, throughout 50 years of performing, there has been a constant suggestion Daltrey and Townshend, despite performing together for a huge amount of time, have been at odds with one another.
Biographer Dave Marsh wrote in his book Before I Get Old: The Story of The Who how the pair argued a great deal, particularly in the mid-1970s about how the band should move and their future direction.
However, according to Townshend, the reason for their arguing is not just about direction or style of music, but also how they have struggled to communicate.
He told Rolling Stone earlier this year: “One of the great difficulties here isn’t that Roger and I don’t get on.
”It’s that we don’t communicate. Over the years, we haven’t really developed a dialogue. I don’t think that the fault is on my side.
“He feels a bit intimidated, perhaps, because I overcomplicate things, but we think very, very differently.
Speaking of the process of making their new album, Townshend said he send demos to Daltrey or his view.
He said: “Just silence from Roger. I had to bully him to respond, and then it wasn’t the response I wanted.
“He just blathered for a while and in the end I really stamped my foot and said, ‘Roger, I don’t care if you really like this stuff.
“You have to sing it. You’ll like it in 10 years time.’”
Townshend said his bandmate “isn’t very good” at texts or emails, and few decision are made when they talk on the phone, despite it being a “significant” way in which they communicate.
Daltrey told Rolling Stone: ”I’ve gotten quite insular, I suppose. I don’t know why that is, but I accept it.
“Is the chemistry between us still there? I hope there is. It’s been a year since we worked. We’ll see soon enough.”
However it may be that Entwistle’s death helped the pair to connect more, as Townshend has said the pair have tried to get on better now they are older.
He told Mojo: “The acceptance of each other’s eccentricities and differences has brought us to a really genuine and compassionate relationship, which can only be described as love.
“And that’s something to demonstrate, because this is two old guys in rocking chairs.
“As Roger says, we’re lucky that we’re not in some old people’s home and that we can do this now.
Who is out on December 6