(Blurb for Thanks a lot Mr Kibblewhite from Goodreads) The frontman of one of the greatest bands of all time tells the story of his rise from nothing to rock ’n’ roll megastar, and his wild journey as the voice of The Who.
“It’s taken me three years to unpack the events of my life, to remember who did what when and why, to separate the myths from the reality, to unravel what really happened at the Holiday Inn on Keith Moon’s 21st birthday,” says Roger Daltrey, the powerhouse vocalist of The Who. The result of this introspection is a remarkable memoir, instantly captivating, funny and frank, chock-full of well-earned wisdom and one-of-kind anecdotes from a raucous life that spans a tumultuous time of change in Britain and America.
Born during the air bombing of London in 1944, Daltrey fought his way (literally) through school and poverty and began to assemble the band that would become The Who while working at a sheet metal factory in 1961. In Daltrey’s voice, the familiar stories—how they got into smashing up their kit, the infighting, Keith Moon’s antics—take on a new, intimate life. Also here is the creative journey through the unforgettable hits including My Generation, Substitute, Pinball Wizard, and the great albums, Who’s Next, Tommy, and Quadrophenia. Amidst all the music and mayhem, the drugs, the premature deaths, the ruined hotel rooms, Roger is our perfect narrator, remaining sober (relatively) and observant and determined to make The Who bigger and bigger. Not only his personal story, this is the definitive biography of The Who.
Thanks a lot Mr Kibblewhite is Roger Daltrey’s story in his own words. From his life growing up as a small boy, born during the second world war, through to the Who’s North American concert where he fell ill back in 2015.
The title of the book plays homage to his time at Acton County Grammar school when he was expelled for a crime he says that he didn’t commit. Upon expelling him, his headmaster Mr Kibblewhite told him:
You’ll never make anything of your life
Daltrey breezes through the early part of his life, working as a ‘glorified tea boy’ in a sheet metal factory; and the band’s beginnings. Joining up with Pete Townsend & John Entwhistle (both of whom also went to Acton Grammar) and Keith Moon to form the skiffle band The Detours.
We hear about his marriage to Jaquelin Rickman in 1964 and the birth of his son Simon. He admits he was probably too young and that it was no real surprise when they divorced in 1968. There is also a fair amount throughout the book about Heather Taylor whom he met in 1968 and married in 1971 and of his love of family life now.
The remainder of the book tells us of the highs and the lows of being in a global mega group The Who. Highlights include:
For the Audiobook Roger Daltrey narrated his own story, which made the overall experience of Thanks a lot Mr Kibblewhite far more endearing. He’s not the best orator, but you can tell the parts of the book where he is reliving some of these moments from his past. Times such as when he discusses the passing of Keith Moon where he wondered if he could have done more; and some of the funnier moments such as when Keith drove a car into the hotel swimming pool; he chuckles while reminiscing with us.