Roger Daltrey says he would have ‘welcomed death’ during meningitis battle

The Who postponed gigs last year during Daltrey's illness

The Who‘s Roger Daltrey says his meningitis battle last year “took quite a heavy toll” on him, saying he would have “welcomed death” during the illness.

The Who had to postpone a number of gigs last year when Roger Daltrey contracted viral meningitis, an inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Daltrey said: “I’m not bullshitting you; the meningitis last year took quite a heavy toll on me physically. 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 … ”


The band were able to go back on the road of February this year, with Daltry explaining how he felt at peace during his time off. “When you get a shave as close as that from the reaper, you go … It’s weird,” he says. “I was totally peaceful. If death would have come, I would have welcomed it. It was weird.

“I was in such agony. But then it all went, and I felt this very peaceful space. … I don’t know, it was weird,” he explained.

“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.” Daltrey says he learned a lot about himself from the experience. “When I look back at it I’m so lucky to be here,” he says. “I got a peace of mind out of it that I’ve never had before. That’s kind of nice.”