The front man of The Who draws on years of careful introspection in an anecdotal memoir of his rise from poverty to rock-and-roll stardom, sharing insights into the creative processes behind iconic hits and his relationship with band members.
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.