Woodstock Was the Who’s Worst Gig Ever, Says Roger Daltrey
The Who have long expressed disdain for their Woodstock performance, and in a new interview, singer Roger Daltrey noted that a series of delays and equipment problems prevented them from playing until 5AM.
"You’ve got to remember, by the time we went onstage, we’d been standing in the mud for hours," he told The New York Times. "Or laying in it, or doing whatever in it. It wasn’t actually that muddy backstage, but it wasn’t comfort, let’s put it that way. ... That’s all you could do. Waiting, waiting, waiting. We were young, and life is a lot easier when you’re young. I wouldn’t do that show now. Sod that. I’d walk away from it. I’m joking. No, I’d walk away and come back 10 hours later."
Daltrey said he has never listened to the Who's set to reassess it with years of detachment. But, after noting it was the band's worst gig, he still has vivid memories of what went wrong.
"It was a particularly hard one for me, because of the state of the equipment," he said. "It was all breaking down. I’m standing in the middle of the stage with enormous Marshall 100-watt amps blasting my ears behind me. [Keith] Moon on the drums in the middle. I could barely hear what I was singing."
Still, Daltrey has a few positive memories of the weekend, like noting Creedence Clearwater Revival were "fantastic," as well as the vibe coming from the audience.
"They were the stars," he explained. "That half a million people put up with that crap for three days. 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."