Pete Townshend Shares How Robert Plant Copied Roger Daltrey

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During a recent chat on BBC Radio Scotland with Billy Sloan, Pete Townshend of The Who shed light on the relationship between two rock legends: Roger Daltrey from The Who and Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin.

While discussing the making of The Who’s iconic ‘Who’s Next’ album at Olympic Studios, Townshend spoke about the looming presence of upcoming heavy rock bands. He mentioned, “By then, we realized Led Zeppelin was right on our tail, and they eventually surpassed The Who in the heavy rock scene.”

Townshend further discussed Robert Plant’s early stage demeanor, hinting that Plant might have drawn some inspiration from Roger Daltrey. He said, “Robert Plant had a distinctive style. Yet, in the beginning, it seemed a mix between Roger Daltrey and Steve Marriott from The Faces. Roger realized the need to step up his game. And he surely did.”

This competitive aura, according to Townshend, was beneficial for Daltrey. It pushed him to treat his voice as a precious instrument, adopting a healthier lifestyle than some of his peers. “Roger began to value his voice and its significance. He steered clear of drugs, limited his alcohol intake, and overall took great care of himself. Meanwhile, the rest of the band lived quite the wild life,” shared Townshend.

The commercial and musical rivalry between The Who and Led Zeppelin was evident. Though The Who had their share of success, they often found themselves eclipsed by the sheer might of Led Zeppelin, who sold a staggering 300 million records compared to The Who’s 100 million.

Interestingly enough, Townshend wasn’t particularly fond of Led Zeppelin’s tunes, adding another twist to the tale of rock rivalries.

This peek into the world of 60s and 70s rock gives us a better understanding of the drive and ambition that propelled these legendary musicians. For more captivating stories and rock history, check out the full interview.

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