Much has been written about the hearing issues of The Who guitarist Pete Townshend — oh, the perils of being on the forefront of amplifier-blasting rock ‘n’ roll — but what you may not have known is that frontman Roger Daltrey ran into similar problems with his iconic voice.
After decades of belting the words to “Baba O’Riley” and other classics, Daltrey hit a major hurdle last year: he was losing his ability to sing.
The discovery came just six weeks before the band’s performance at Super Bowl XLIV.
Daltrey sought treatment from Steven Zeitels, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center and a professor at Harvard Medical School. (He also treats Julie Andrews and Steven Tyler.)
What Zeitels found: evidence of pre-cancerous dysplasia on Daltrey’s vocal chords.
A week before Christmas, Daltrey went in for surgery. Using the latest in laser technology — plus a new gel-like biomaterial injected into the vocal chord — Daltrey was restored. (Zeitels claims he can regain up to 90 percent of someone’s lost voice.)
After two weeks of silence to heal, Daltrey was well enough to take the stage at halftime during television’s biggest annual event.
KCBS reporter Lisa Sigell interviewed Daltrey about the procedure earlier this month.
Here’s a peek:
Photo: The Who