Will The Who Ever Tour Again? Roger Daltrey Says “It’s Very Doubtful”

“Touring has become very difficult since COVID,” Daltrey, 79, admitted.


Melinda Lorge


Posted on April 12, 2023

Share on:

The Who; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

It’s no question that the World Health Crisis of 2020 shifted the lives of people all over the world. Countless nurses and teachers either stepped away from their jobs or took up new careers while others continued to work through the unknowns. Restaurants closed down or opened to new capacity limits and cities during the lockdown looked like ghost towns.

The landscape also changed for touring musicians and music artists alike. TikTok and Zoom sessions became a routine way to keep up with fans as many people began questioning whether or not live shows would ever return. And, even though touring has since picked up, the aftermath of the coronavirus has brought new changes. 

So much so that it’s one of the reasons Grammy award-winning rock band The Who may be done playing shows in the U.S. 

The Who; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
The Who; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Will The Who Ever Tour Again? Roger Daltrey Weighs In

Speaking to USA Today, co-founder and the lead singer of the rock group Roger Daltrey explained the post-pandemic chaos and how it has ultimately affected the tour economy.   

“Touring has become very difficult since COVID,” Daltrey, 79, admitted. “We cannot get insured, and most of the big bands doing arena shows, by the time they do their first show and rehearsals and get the staging and crew together, all the buses and hotels, you’re upwards $600,000 to a million in the hole.” 

“To earn that back, if you’re doing a 12-show run, you don’t start to earn it back until the seventh or eighth show,” he continued.  “That’s just how the business works. The trouble now is if you get COVID after the first show, you’ve (lost) that money.”

The Who; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
The Who; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The Who, whose principal members were Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon, catapulted to success after forming in London in 1964. They cemented their legacy by selling over 100 million records worldwide, leading the charge in the creation of rock opera, and winning countless awards and accolades.

The veteran Rock and Roll Hall of Famers played their last show in the U.S. in 2022, years after they had performed a farewell tour in the States and Canada in 1982. And while they still have shows scheduled in Europe for 2023, Daltrey says it’s very unlikely that another run in America would ever be in the books.

YouTube video

“Nothing at the moment. I don’t know if we’ll ever come back to tour America,” said Daltrey, who did, however, admit the band was in what seems to be its finest form in years. “There is only one tour we could do, an orchestrated Quadrophenia to round out the catalog. But that’s one tall order to sing that piece of music, as I’ll be 80 next year. I never say never, but at the moment it’s very doubtful.”

“Pete can’t quite jump 10 foot in the air anymore. He can do 3 foot, so he’s not bad! (Laughs). I don’t swing the microphone, hardly, at all now because it doesn’t matter to the sound anymore,”  he added. “Before, when all those things used to work, it was a circus act. We’re more than that now. I’m proud that our music has come of age, and I think you could say this is the most modern classical music out there.”

The Who; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
The Who; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The Who’s latest collection of music is a 20-song chronicle of their live performance at Wembley Stadium, aptly titled The Who with Orchestra: Live at Wembley. On June 14, the band will take the road for a run of shows overseas that are scheduled to conclude on Aug. 28.

Share on:

Written by

More from Melinda Lorge

See more posts from Melinda Lorge

You may also like