Why did Roger Daltrey stutter in "My Generation"?

He did it in the record, he did it on Ed Sullivan show (and also when introducing the song), but he doesn’t stutter. Was the stuttering an attempt to heighten the idea that the song was sung by a very youthful person just finding their voice?

Or was it just to give the audiences something to shout? (You know, at the line, “Why don’t you all just f-f-f-f-f-…-fade away?”)

Or was there some other reason? (E.g., they were singing it in a club, tried it that way and got a strong response from the crowds, so they stuck with it; something like that?)

Bugged me for years.


<<a Mod taking speed pills>>


Back in the day, Daltry and Townsend claimed it was anything except a drug reference. Nowadays, Townsend has no problem saying “It’s a drug reference.”

Good for him.

A friend says he’s making fun of old people with the stutter, but now that I think about it, I’m not sure that makes any sense. Do old people stutter more than young people? Even older folks who develop mental illnesses such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons don’t stutter excessively, AFAIK.

Because Pete told him to.

I thought it was just meant to wind you up into thinking that he was going to sing why don’t you all just fuck off, but then he said fade away, and it was like “gotcha ya.”

Because it’s cool.

Duh. :smiley:

Heh. I dated a guy once who HATED my taste in music (I’m not a Who fan, particularly, but used to listen to a lot of classic rock stations in college). We were in my car once, listening to “My Generation” on the radio, and suddenly the BF burst out with, “Oh my God, WHY the hell would they let HIM sing??” (thinking, of course, that R. Daltry was just a guy who stuttered).

Then there was the time we were listening to Eric Clapton’s “Let it Rain”, and he said, “Is this the Partridge Family?”

I always liked it.

“Just because we g…g…g…get around”. It creates some interesting musical tension before the band comes in with the “talking 'bout my generation” refrain.

Let that be a lesson to ye, Eric me lad. When ye play booblgum, ye sound jest like Keith Fookin Partridge.

Digs, that was hilarious!

Eric Clapton SUCKS when in the bubblegum mode. Add that fuckin’ “You Look Wonderful Tonight” to his list of crap. One more tune like that and I’m takin’ his Rock and Roll Membership away. Permanently. Foolish lad.

Heh. He said, “Booblegum.” Heh.

Heh. He said, “Booblegum.” Heh.

groo: If I remember Rolling Stone’s Encyclopedia of Rock ‘n’ Roll History correctly, the stutter was a reference to British Mods, who allegedly stuttered because they were into speed.

IIRC (possibly from the trivia on the Quadrophenia DVD) Daltry simply stuttered during a take. Not that he stuttered as a rule, but it just happened that once. They thought it was cool, so they left it in.

Wow! I’m gratified that this question was answered so quickly, but Jonny L.A. has left me guessing. The “Mod on speed” answer seems the most likely, given the cite.

Thanks for answering, everybody!

This is the stock answer given by classic rock stations. Daltry went in unrehearsed and the guys liked how it sounded.

I’d always heard that the stutter was in keeping with Pete Townshend’s habit of writing about characters with certain physical afflictions. (“That deaf, dumb and blind kid…”)

For what it’s worth…

Randy Bachman does stutter-why he did on “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.” I’ve heard Daltry speak-he doesn’t stutter. But then, stutterers usually do not stutter when singing. No one knows why.