The Tragic Childhood Of Roger Daltrey

It's said that Roger Harry Daltrey has wanted a career in music from his very early years. He was born March 1, 1944, in London, according to The Famous People website. World War II was still raging and Europe had yet to be liberated from Nazi Germany. In England, food was rationed, and families were fractured, with service-age men off to war. The aftereffects of the Battle of Britain, which had seen nightly German bombing raids devastating London and other parts of the country, lingered still.

Daltrey's family was no different; his father was absent, serving in the Second World War, for the first few years of Roger's life. Food shortages had their effect on many children, including Roger, who suffered from Rickets, a condition caused by Vitamin D deficiency, resulting in stunted growth and soft bones, says the Mayo Clinic. Despite the challenges, Daltrey said he enjoyed growing up in post-war England. He told the London Life with Liz website that bomb craters made "amazing" playgrounds.

School was another matter. He titled his 2018 autobiography Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite. Kibblewhite was the headmaster of Daltrey's school, and the two did not get along, despite attempts at discipline, corporal and otherwise. After an incident with an air rifle, reports USA Today, Kibblewhite expelled a 15-year-old Roger with the words, "You'll never make anything of your life, Daltrey!"

All he wanted was to be a good singer

"And I thought, 'I'll show you!'" Daltrey said, but added, "Without him, life could have gone very wrong indeed." He wanted to play music; not surprising, his parents didn't approve. He made his own guitar to perform his first audition. Something must have changed, because in 1959 his father bought him a guitar of his own, and Daltrey became the lead guitarist of The Detours. In time, that career choice brought him to The Who, one of the great groundbreaking rock bands of the 20th Century. "I brought that band together," he told Rolling Stone in 2018.

He's famously pugnacious — "I'm a little guy and I used to get bullied quite a lot when I was young." He was actually thrown out of The Who after a fight with Keith Moon: Daltrey had flushed Moon's amphetamines down the toilet after a show; Moon smashed him in the head with a tambourine, and it went downhill from there. Eventually, all — or most, or maybe just enough — was forgiven. It was the music that mattered. "All I ever wanted," said Daltrey, "was to be a good singer." Mission accomplished.