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.”