Roger Daltrey will wrap up his 24-year tenure as the chairman of the Teenage Cancer Trust this March with a week-long series of charity shows featuring the Who, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Squeeze, and the Chemical Brothers. The final gig is an all-star blowout where the Who frontman will be joined by Pete Townshend, Robert Plant, Eddie Vedder, Paul Weller, and Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics.
Daltrey’s tenure with the Teenage Cancer Trust — which builds cancer units for teenagers and young adults in hospitals — stretches back to 2000. Since that time, he’s helped the organization raise over $40 million. “The [money] raised from these concerts has been the foundation for the 28 specialised units within the NHS,” Daltrey said in a statement, “as well as specialist nurses and youth workers to be there for a young person when cancer has turned their world upside down.”
In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Daltrey explained the central mission of the Teenage Cancer Trust. “It has nothing to do with medicine, but the fact that people want to be with other people of their same age,” he said. “I don’t know what a thirteen-year-old has in common with a thirty-nine-year-old apart from the fact they both breathe. It’s a totally different period of your life. It’s a shame that the medical profession doesn’t realize that being comfortable psychologically by being with your own age group has an enormous effect on how people survive treatment.”
Throughout his time with the Teenage Cancer Trust, Daltrey has organized shows at the Royal Albert Hall that mix comedy and music. He’s booked Oasis, Coldplay, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, the Cure, Madness, the Stereophonics, Franz Ferdinand, Tom Jones, Noel Gallagher, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan, Simon Pegg, Noel Fielding, and many others. The charity shows will continue in the future with new curators.
The Who have played many special concerts as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust series. Past years have featured complete performances of Tommy and Quadrophenia. They will be joined by an orchestra this year.
The Who’s calendar is otherwise blank for the foreseeable future. “I think it’s time for Roger and I to go to lunch and have a chat about what happens next,” Townshend told Record Collector in 2023. “It’s a question of, really, what is feasible, what would be lucrative, what would be fun? So, I wrote to Roger and said, ‘come on, let’s have a chat and see what’s there.’”