So this is the hero’s journey of Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite: the long arc of life-learning whereby a working-class brawler, a delinquent tea boy in a sheet metal factory, discovers within himself the psychic-emotional circuitry to conduct some of the rarest electricity in rock ’n’ roll. It’s like a Who song ... [Keith] Moon dies; [John] Entwistle dies. Daltrey and [Peter] Townshend endure. 'Years passed.' It takes a robust lack of vanity to include that sentence in your own autobiography. But Daltrey’s peculiar swaggering selflessness is the key to this book, and a key (one of four) to the Who.
The Who were youthful agents of the incoming counter-culture, but Daltrey was a child of a keep-calm-and-carry-on era, and this stocky, muscular narrative reveals a no-nonsense approach to his life and work ... The Who continued, though, and the pride Daltrey takes in it is fierce. Yet as the book progresses, there’s a sense that he really found himself beyond the band: in his solo work, his second wife, Heather, his acting career, his much-mocked trout fishing ... He did eventually take acid, accidentally drinking a spiked cup of tea at Woodstock. Like so much in his story, it’s a perfectly ordinary way of falling into the extraordinary.
In this memoir, Daltrey relays a number of familiar stories from the Who biography—but with the added insight of his perspective ... some of the stories about filming his title role in the movie version of Tommy and attempting to fulfill director Ken Russell’s increasingly physically dangerous directions would make any movie insurance company adjustor wince. If the book as a weak point, it may be its brevity. Surely there’s a lot more to be said and stories to be told by the front man of one of the five biggest rock bands of all time, still hitting the stage after more than 50 years since said band’s formation.
Roger Daltrey—the Who’s singer who stuttered through the defiant sentiment, 'Hope I die before I get old' before he was 21—skipped most of the rock star excesses, which makes for a pretty tame tell-all autobiography ... Who fans reading Daltrey’s autobiography more than likely won’t find much that is new or revelatory. Daltrey didn’t hobnob much with the rock aristocracy of which he was a member. His focus always seemed to be on his career and the welfare of his family (although he established several franchises with out-of-town women while on tour) ... What’s noticeably absent from Daltrey’s memoirs are details about individual songs and albums ... Minor kvetching aside, Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite is a fun read about one of classic rock’s founding members and the band he strived mightily with varying degrees of success to keep on track.
If [Daltry] actually wrote it, kudos to him. Unfortunately, his final product might suffice as a moderately interesting narrative laced over a documentary. On its own, it’s more side dish than entrée ... [The book] lacks the raw truth, too, of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, nor is it anywhere near as ambitiously uneven and weird as X-Ray by Kinks frontman Ray Davies ... Some 240 pages later, it’s a safe bet Roger Daltrey is a good guy to hang out with. Unfortunately, his memoir isn’t a particularly interesting companion.
The lead singer of The Who tells all—sometimes laconically, sometimes archly, but always unflinchingly ... The author’s affection for his band mates is evident, though he is less than patient with the late bassist John Entwistle ... Along the way, Daltrey reveals a few tricks of the trade ... Unaffected, lucid, and entertaining: One of the best rock memoirs in recent memory.