Roger Daltrey explains why he refuses to read reviews

Roger Daltrey has explained why he never reads reviews of his work, describing social media as being “ego food”.

The Who musician, 80, wrote a diary for The Times after stepping down as the curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) gigs. The annual concert took place at the Royal Albert Hall last month.

In the feature, Daltrey reflects on his own relationship with critics, revealing that he never reads reviews – even positive ones.

“The reviews [of the concert] are in but I won’t read them,” he wrote. “If you read the good ones, you have to read the bad ones, and the bad ones will upset you. I steer clear of it all — reviews, Twitter, all of that.

“Social media might be great for talking to people but when you start adding comments and likes, it’s just ego food, isn’t it? I don’t care what people think of me. I can’t live like that.”

Elsewhere in the piece, Daltrey reflected on his own mortality, shortly after turning 80 years of age.

“I have to be realistic. I’m on my way out,” he wrote. “The average life expectancy is 83 and with a bit of luck I’ll make that, but we need someone else to drive things.

Roger Daltrey pictured in 2019 (Getty Images)
Roger Daltrey pictured in 2019 (Getty Images)

“I’m not leaving TCT – I’ve been a patron since I first met the charity’s founders, Dr Adrian and Myrna Whiteson, more than 30 years ago – and that will continue, but I’ll be working in the back room, talking to the government, rattling cages.”

With TCT, Daltrey has raised £32m for specialised NHS units to care for young cancer patients over the past 24 years.

Following Daltrey’s departure, the charity has said it will use a run of guest curators in 2025. Daltrey will remain an honourary patron of the organisation.

“Our charity really helps,” he wrote in the article. “We set out to build 25 cancer units and now we’ve got 28, and a whole lot more in the US, all staffed and kitted out. Before TCT, these teenagers would either end up on a ward with children or with geriatrics like me. Now, they get their own unit and, with it, better outcomes.

“We’re all aware that our NHS is in serious trouble and our politicians don’t seem to have the balls to change it. Do we just watch it crumble and let TCT crumble with it? No, I want to make it future-proof.”