Archive Photos/Getty Images
People tend get nostalgic about the original Woodstock festival in 1969 — especially people who weren’t there — but one veteran of the event doesn’t really have many fond memories: The Who‘s Roger Daltrey.
While The Who’s set was hailed as one of the defining moments of Woodstock, Roger tells The New York Times, “By the time we went onstage, we’d been standing in the mud for hours…it was boring. Hours and hours of that is boring.”
“That’s all you could do. Waiting, waiting, waiting,” he adds, noting, “I wouldn’t do that show now. Sod that. I’d walk away from it. I’m joking…I’d walk away and come back 10 hours later!”
And all that talk of “3 Days of Peace, Love & Music” wasn’t exactly the reality either, Daltrey recalls.
“Woodstock wasn’t peace and love. There was an awful lot of shouting and screaming going on,” he tells the Times, adding, “People were screaming to get paid. We had to get paid, or we couldn’t get back home.”
While Daltrey has long held that Woodstock was the worst gig The Who ever played — in part because he and Pete Townshend had accidentally been dosed with LSD — he admits that he’s never actually listened back to their performance.
“I’ve never enjoyed listening to what we do, to be honest,” he says. “I do it and then that’s it.”
There were some positive things that came out of the festival, though: The Who’s audiences got much bigger. And Daltrey says the fans made a real difference.
“They were the stars, that half a million people that put up with that crap for three days!” he laughs. “That coming together of that community was, I think, the key to getting America out of Vietnam. That’s when politicians actually started to take notice.”
Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.