The Who's Roger Daltrey Likens Smashing Guitar to Killing His Wife

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Photo: Raph_PH

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Mar 14, 2024

Remember when Phoebe Bridgers smashed her guitar on SNL back in 2021 and a lot of people, especially David Crosby, got excessively butthurt about it? The Who's Roger Daltrey is apparently among the crowd who take this rockstar guitar-smashing business very seriously, having compared his own experience bashing on a six-string to murdering his wife, Heather Taylor.

On a recent episode of Shaun Keaveny's Daily Grind podcast, Daltrey reflected on what he insists is the one time he broke an instrument — which he regrets to this day. 

"[Fans] never came to hear the music, they came to see the guitar being broken," he said of bandmate Pete Townshend's infamous habit of guitar-smashing, which he also wrote about in his 2018 memoir, Thanks a Lot Mister Kibblewhite: "It was heartbreaking. When I remembered how much I’d struggled to get my first guitars, it was like watching an animal being slaughtered."

“The trouble is the guitar was worth 50 gigs," the musician told the podcast host. "I’ve only ever smashed one guitar and I’m really sorry I did it."

Daltrey continued, “I don’t know why, just this thing came over me. I’ve always regretted it — I thought, ‘I shouldn’t have done that, that was like killing the wife.'"

Many have drawn comparisons between the female form and the body of the instrument, but a plot to murder your life partner could surely be much less messy than this?

Daltrey's class-consciousness remains at the fore, with the musician having shared last year that it was too much of a final risk for the Who to tour North America in the pandemic era. You can listen to his full interview with Keaveny below.


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