Roger Daltrey Says ‘Baba O’Riley’ Is Warning to Kids Today
The Who singer Roger Daltrey said the band's classic “Baba O’Riley” carried a stark warning to modern kids who spend too much time on social media.
The song was released as a single in 1971 and appeared on that year’s LP, Who’s Next, which went to No. 4 in the U.S. and No. 1 in the U.K. The title reflects guitarist Pete Townshend’s two leading philosophical inspirations, Maher Baba and Terry Riley.
“‘Teenage Wasteland’ speaks to generation after generation,” Daltrey told the Big Issue in a recent interview. “The bridge – ‘Don’t cry / Don’t raise your eye / It’s only teenage wasteland’ – if that doesn’t say more about the new generation, I don’t know what does.”
He said the "main advice I give youngsters is to be very aware of what you are getting into on social media. Because life is not looking down at screens, it is looking up. We are heading for catastrophe with the addiction that is going on in the younger generation. Your life will disappear if you are not careful. You are being controlled, and that is terrible.”
Daltrey also had some advice for Oasis brothers Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher, in the interest of getting their band back together. He has insisted for years that a reunion will take place eventually, based on his knowledge and experience of band arguments. “I wish the Gallagher brothers would get back together,” he said. “My advice to them would be that all the verbal that keeps you in the press – it is today’s version of wrestling. It’s not real, get over it.”
He said a similar situation applied to his own band, despite their notorious disagreements over the years. “Even with all the anger, angst and paranoia, there was always a deep respect, and that is why the Who stayed together,” he reflected. “You can have all that stuff, but when you get home, there was a deep caring for each other. It is family. Don’t fucking get in the middle of it – you wouldn’t last two seconds!”