Jun 012021

There I was, all ready to uncork a new RTH Glossary entry on you — “pullin’ a Daltrey,” meaning over-enthusiastically singing somebody else’s words, in a way that suggests you’re not entirely sure you know what they mean. I even knew what tune best exemplified this behavior. But when I sauntered in through the doors of YouTube, looking for a performance of “You Better You Bet” that would show you what I was talking about, I was crestfallen. In my mind’s eye, I could see our titanium-throated mega stud punching the air with his fist and twirling his mic, bursting out of a rock power squat while owning lines like “especially, when you say YES!” and “… I look pretty crappy SOMETIME!” But then… this. What a let-down. How can I explain what pullin’ a Daltrey means if Daltrey won’t even pull one for me?

Can any of you find a video clip of The Who, or any other band or artist, that better showcases this glossary term?

I look forward to your responses.



  12 Responses to “Pullin’ a Daltrey”

  1. You know what? Screw all that for now. This might be a good opportunity to put the Who under the microscope, and zero in on the key fuck ups of their career. This song is certainly one of them. Just for the record, did Golden Girls Daltrey just get back from a visit to the beauty parlor with his gram before shooting this godawful thing?

  2. I love the fact that “pullin’ a Daltrey” might be a valid RTH lexicon term even if Roger never pulled one. I’ll put some thought into this.

  3. hrrundivbakshi

    There’s no doubt Daltrey pulled plenty of Daltreys during the heyday of The Who. You can clearly hear him pulling a bunch of them in “You Better You Bet.” I was just frustrated that they couldn’t be seen in the official video for the song. There are a bunch of Daltreys in “Who Are You” as well. To EPG’s point: they definitely became more common in the later stages of the band’s career, when Who albums became more explicitly Townshend solo albums “as performed by The Who.”

  4. Aside from the lead vocals, I don’t mind this song. It’s catchy and well constructed and I have a soft spot for pop trifles. Is it cheesy? Absolutely! Is it a far cry from their Live at Leeds peak? Absolutely. Do I turn the song off sometimes specifically because of the vocals? Absolutely

  5. Happiness Stan

    Tempting as it is to find a video of David Gilmour singing about souls swimming around in fishbowls, I think this one is a solid contender if ever there was one. If you turn the sound down, he could easily be delivering the soliloquy from Richard III, but don’t let me put ideas in your head


  6. hrrundivbakshi

    Hap, you just made my day. That was absolutely mesmerizing. Forget pulling a Daltrey; Harris manages to pull the entire space-time continuum through a reverse-polarity vanishing point of blue-shirted “did that guy just walk on stage from the alley behind the theater?”-ism. I’m at a loss for words.

  7. In this generally excellent Move clip, I’m not sure if cabaret-singer Carl Wayne is more clueless during the parts he’s singing lead or the breaks, where Roy Wood and Ace Kefford take over. I think Carl somehow pulls a Daltrey during the long sequence he’s not singing, at the 2:10 mark.


  8. hrrundivbakshi

    I love Carl Wayne’s act — but yeah, he’s pulling Daltreys left, right, and center here. Good find!

  9. BigSteve

    It’s hilarious that the French TV guys superimpose ‘Les Move’ with the plural article. Maybe it breaks some kind of Academie Francaise rule to use a singular article for a collective band name.

  10. BigSteve

    Roger sang all kinds of mystical lyrics that Pete fed him, and he never broke character. It’s no accident that he ha d a career as an actor. Did Roger understand Pure and Easy? (Do I?) But ask any songwriter/dramatist whether he’d prefer the singer/actor be convincing at embodying the text or have a deep understanding of this ideas, and you’d find that ‘pulling a Daltrey’ wins by a mile.

  11. cherguevara

    What about, “there won’t be snow is Africa this Christmastime…?”

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