September 26, 2020

1990-02-04 – Chicago Tribune

1990 02 04 Chicago_Tribune_Sun__Feb_4__1990_ 2

Menahem

wan actors. They’re not ‘acting’
them, which is what. often
happens with the Enghsh: ‘1
am an actor, and I will act.’
“In America, they become
the character. Roger is like
that. And, considering that
’he’s not trained as an actor,
that’s'amazmg.” _
In “Mack the I(mfe”—a film
adaptation of “The Threepen-

ny Opera” that stars Raul .

Julia as ‘MacHeath and was
written and directed by
Menahem Golan—Daltrey ap-
pau's as the Street Singer, and
aets'to Sing the title song.
riting after. its showmg last
fall at the Chmgo Intertiation-
al Film Festival, The Tribune's
Dave Kehr said Daltrey’s per-
founanee was “effective" and
that the film itself was “a per-
fectly serviceable piece, one
that’s sure to find an eventual
place in the video collections
of opera buffs everywhere.”
Told about the review, Dal-
trey said,.“l can’t believe
Menahem Golan could direct
a film! . . . . Anyway,.my
m e has been very much elon-
ted in the film. He's used
a Greek chorus to tell the
story. It’s a rather difficult
part. It's son of-iambic pep-
tameter. Menahem wrote it in

Yiddish and they had to trans- ‘

lateit.” , _

In 1975, Daltrey made his
first mowe, the screen version
of The Who's .rock opera
“Tommy,” playing the title
role for flamboyant director
Ken Russell. . .'

“In some ways, Russell is a
genius. But he needs to be
controlled, and there are very
few people who can control
him. That’s his pmblem.

“His good stutf is superb,
and his bad stufi‘is terrible.
And I love him for that._l
mean, so many peeple me in
the gray ama.”

His'secongl title role for R315-
sell was .“hsthmania,” wluch
got rotten reViews. f‘l don’t
think people understood what

Daltrey apgears as the Street Singer In “Mack the Knife." a
olon-dlrected film version of “The Throepenny Opera."

he was trying to do with it.
The problem was the subject
matter: a great composer. Peo-
ple want it to be all proper
and i-ight, don’t they? And we
tried to do. it like a Batman
cartoon strip. Because Franz
[.1521 was the first pop star.

“I loved doing it, really en-
joyed the whole business, but I
really didn’t know anything
about acting. $0 I got me an
agent, and I did a lot. of work
for English TV. Did some
Shakospeaie: ‘The Comedy of
Errors.’ Some work for
Jonathan Miller: MacI-Ieath in

‘The Beggar's Opera.’ "

One 0 his films that wasn’t
seen in the United. States was
“McVimr” (1981) in which he
played the real-hfe character,
an En lSh bank robber and
Public nemy No. 1.

In 1982, The Who under-
took its “Farewell Tour.” Two
years later Daltrey released the
album “Parting Should Be
Painless,” followed by “Under

' a Raging Moon” (a tribute to

The Who’s late drummer,
Keith Moon, who died at age
31 of an accidental overdose)
and in 1987 released his sixth

solo album, “Can’t Wait to_

See the Movie."

Last summer, he and his two
surywmg Who associates, gui-
tanst/songwritei; Pete Town-
shen_d and bassist John
EntWIstle, reunited for their
25th-anhiversary “The Kids
Age Alright Tour,” complete
With songs_like “Won’t Get
fooled Again,” .“My Genera-
tion" and “Magic Bus," along
With the hearing-impaired
Towhshend’s patented scissor—
split Jumps. -

It hashbeen estimated that
the 25-mty tour grossed more
than $55 million, with the trio
splitting between $25 and $30
million. All right, kids.

Despite the payoff, Daltrey
said the experience “killed”
him. “I had terrible trouble,
andIamveryfit. Bemuseit

'was an anniversary-paity type

Chicago Tribune, Su day. February 4. 1990

Sectlon t Page 7 Am

thing, we were trying to give
as much as we cOuld. We
would sometimes give 33/45 4—
hour shows, and when you’re
45 years old, that’s pushing it.

“I was losing about seven
pounds a night. I got to a
point in Miami where I was
almost seriously ill, I had lost
so much weight. Then, it just
so happened, luckily, we got a
week off. _

“My voxce would hit a few
wavets, but basically it was in
good shape. Eve hing else

ave out. The at crs didn't

ave the problem. Sin ing
takes up a dill‘erent kind 0 en-
ergy. I could jump around all
day here, but singing is differ-
ent. It's like I sat you in that
room there and told you to
scream your head off for three

‘ hours, and when you mine out

I’d say, “All right, you can go
do that again tomorrow night,
and again after tha ’ ” -

Still, the $0111) plans another
tour in 19 , this time in Eu-
rope. “The tour in the States
showed we can do it better
than ever. The energy was un-
believable, and some of the
sound was the best we’ve ever
done. The only problem is
that we didn’t make allowance
for the fact that we were_cight
years older. We planned it like
one of our old tours: two days
on, a day oil“, two dag: 0a. So
our scheduling will differ-
ent."

Daltrey, who lives with his
family on a farm in Sussex,
claimed that he doesn’t m if
the public forever identifies
him with The Who, a group
that helped develop the sound
that bemme heavy metal, and
which was inducted last month
into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of
Fame.

“1 really don’t care. I think
my actin micel- Will take olt‘,
andwill asbigaslwantit
to be. I’m very proud to be
one of the great rock and roll
Singers, in probably one of the
greatest rock and roll bands
eves.) That’s good enough for
me.

With that, he was sum-
moned by a makeup person.
“If you want to may on with
more questiohs upstairs later
. . .,” he promised. .

Rmppearing some 20 mm
utes later, he displayed the re-
sults of his make-ovei‘. His
hair was matted, and the en-
tire left side of his face was
red. In take after take, his
oppponent (played by Clumgo
stage actor Ernest Perry Jr.)
continued to thrash him. Dur—.
ing lengthy breaks, the filtps’s
PR man petiodimlly inquired
about finishing the question-
and-answei' session, but Dal-
tiey would deflect his requests.

By now. as the afiemoon
moved on, the makeup had
ruthlessly escalated. As Daltiey
ietumed to the ring, “blood’
pouied from his eyes and nose
and (hipped from his knuckles,
and his right eye was almost
closed. More takes, more
closeups. Finally, he dropped
to the floor. The fight was
over. It was a wrap. Roger
Daltrey—acknowledging the
ap lause of the exti-as—walked
0 into the darkness, never to
return. . ~

And the rest of the inter—
view?

Sorry, ducks. No mas.