Review of ‘Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite’ by Roger Daltrey

This entertaining autobiography from the frontman of The Who is a great read with lots of humour and plenty of crazy rock’n’roll anecdotes. You don’t have to be a huge fan to enjoy reading this book. I like the eccentric title; Mr Kibblewhite was the headteacher who expelled Roger. I suppose if Mr Kibblewhite had been more lenient, music history could have been different.

Black and white photo of Roger Daltrey holding a pint.

Roger tells us a little about his early years (‘my generation’), followed by the formation of The Who and his transformation into a rockstar and actor. There is also something of his family life. The content is selective and of course it’s his viewpoint (most notably demonstrating his turbulent relationship with Pete Townshend), so readers wishing to piece together a fuller history of The Who will need to read other accounts. Although there are funny moments and a generally positive outlook, there is grief at the deaths of Keith Moon, John Entwistle, and the victims of the Cincinnati concert disaster. The writing style is straight-talking, sincere and uncompromising.

In summary, this is a (pinball) ‘wizard’ read for which there is no ‘substitute’. If you read it on a journey – perhaps on a ‘magic bus’ – you’ll be riveted for ‘miles and miles’. I ‘can’t explain’ why it’s good… I mean I just did, but I wanted to ‘squeeze’ (box) some Who song titles into the review and it’s ‘the last time’ I’ll do that, I promise.

Published in 2018 by Henry Holt.

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