Roger Daltrey on Meningitis Battle: ‘I Was in Such Agony’
"When you get a shave as close as that from the reaper, it's weird. I was totally peaceful. If death would have come, I would have welcomed it," he told Rolling Stone. "I was in such agony."
The Who were forced to reschedule a series of dates on their 50th anniversary tour in late 2015 after Daltrey came down with the disease. “We are very sorry to disappoint our fans in this way,” he said at the time. “For the last four weeks, I have been in and out of the hospital and have been diagnosed with viral meningitis. I am now on the mend and feeling a lot better but I am going to need a considerable time to recover. The doctors tell me I will make a complete recovery, but that I should not do any touring this year.”
The Who's tour resumed in February.
"I'm not bulls---ting you: The meningitis last year took quite a heavy toll on me physically," Daltrey told Rolling Stone in the new interview. "My legs aren't good. My feet aren't good. ... But I think being able to manage it with the adrenaline of the show, that's all the matters. It's two hours of losing myself and forgetting about my feet. But when I come off ... "
Meningitis affects the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord, and the singer said he's gained a new perspective over the last several months. "When I look back at it, I'm so lucky to be here," he noted. "I got a peace of mind out of it that I've never had before. That's kind of nice."
The Who have about a dozen shows coming up this summer in Europe, starting with a June 14 date in France. You can see the schedule below.
Daltrey said he's in a much better place now. "Then it all went, and I felt this very peaceful space," he explained. "It was weird. That's the one thing I remember as clear as day, that feeling. And any time I get stressed now, I just think of that and the worries go away."
The Who 2016 Tour Dates
6/14: Toulouse Zenith Du Toulouse, France
6/16: Madrid Barajas Airport, Spain
6/18: Bilbao Azkena Bilbao, Spain
6/29: Glasgow SSE Hydro, UK
8/31: Manchester Arena, UK
9/3: Sheffield Arena, UK
9/5: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena, UK
9/7: Liverpool Waterfront Echo Arena, UK
9/10: Oberhausen Konig Pilsener Arena, Germany
9/12: Stuttgart Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Germany
9/14: Vienna Wiener Stadthalle, Austria
9/17: Bologna Casalecchio Di Reno, Italy
9/19: Milan Mediolanum Forum, Italy
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