The Who’s Roger Daltrey Explains How Iconic Mic Swinging Trick Came to Be
The Who have given us some of the most iconic stage moves in the history of rock, among them singer Roger Daltrey's microphone swinging whip and catch. During a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Daltrey revealed that the move was inspired by "pure boredom" onstage.
"I did it out of pure boredom actually," Daltrey explained to Fallon. "I was on a stage with two maniacs and a very straight bass player and I just got bored. I thought, 'I've got this thing in my hand and I'm fed up with holding it up there [next to my face] so what do I do with it?' So I kind of threw it and I held onto the cord and of course it came back. I thought, 'Well that's kind of interesting. Let's see what more I can do.'"
"I went on to be pretty good with that thing. I could take a cigarette out of someone's mouth from about 20 yards, which is quite good, you know," boasted Daltrey, adding, "I was really quite a good shot with that thing but I can't see now of course."
Now in his 70s, The Who vocalist admitted, "I throw it out and now I just pray that it comes down somewhere [near me]."
Roger Daltrey Swinging Microphone During Performance
Speaking of those two other "maniacs" that Daltrey referenced, rock history has credited guitarist Pete Townshend with the "guitar windmill" style of playing that has become an iconic move, while drummer Keith Moon was quite known for kicking over his drums after a performance. In the Tonight Show clip below, Daltrey also recalls the time Moon added an explosive device to his kit. Watch the interview in full below.
Daltrey can also be seen in the Rock Camp: The Movie documentary that explores the relationship between the rock star counselors and those who've signed up to learn from the rock icons. A trailer for the film can be seen below the Fallon video. The film has already started airing in theaters and virtual cinema screenings.