Roger Daltrey is nothing if not a good friend. The Who frontman touched upon all aspects of his life during a new interview with Loudersound.com and revealed that Pete Townshend's 2003 arrest was a horrible and frustrating time for him. Townshend, a longtime victims activist, was never formerly charged with a crime — but was cautioned by police for using a credit card to access a website that allegedly advertised child pornography.
Daltrey was asked about the low point of his career and spoke candidly about the anguish he felt watching his friend accused of something that was in no way true, explaining, “When Pete was arrested. Not only did I know it was completely out of character for Pete, I felt for everyone affected by it. I know how it affected my family, and I thought about his family and the people that love him. It was an incredibly painful period for all of us.”
Back in 2006, Townshend, who is a sexual abuse survivor, posted on his PeteTownshend.co.uk website: “I was cleared of all charges brought against me. The caution I received was mandatory because I admitted using a credit card as part of a wider research exercise intended to gather evidence to present to various finance and Internet companies to persuade them to try harder to prevent the use of children in the pornography industry. These are the facts. . . For the record, I no longer lobby publicly about this issue, but I continue to underwrite organizations that support adult 'survivors' of childhood abuse.”
During the Who's press conference prior to playing the halftime show at the 2010 Super Bowl, the final question of the day dealt with two Florida anti-child abuse groups who were calling for the NFL to ban Pete Townshend from the Super Bowl because of the 2003 arrest: “I've been really saddened by it, and concerned about it. It's an issue that's very difficult to deal with in 'sound bytes.' It's a big thing. It's sad. I kind of feel like we're on the same side. That's kind of really what I can really say. I think, y'know, for a family that has suffered the issue of childhood abuse or anything of that sort, vigilance, common sense, vigilance is the most important thing — not vigilantism. And I'm not trying to make a free-ranging statement here, but y'know, I've been working as an advocate and an agent in this kind of area of research and fund-raising for over 40 years. It's something that I have my own story (of being abused) that some of you know, and I would say to anybody that has any doubts about whether I should be here or not, should investigate a little bit further. Everything you need to know — funnily enough — is out there on the Internet.”
The Who are currently working on their first studio album since 2006's Endless Wire. No release date has been announced.
The band kicks off its 2019 tour dates on May 7th in Grand Rapids, Michigan at Van Andel Arena.