2011 – In an interview with CBS Los Angeles, Who frontman Roger Daltrey revealed that, just before the band were set to play at the Super Bowl last year, he came face to face with his own mortality. “Suddenly my voice wasn’t behaving in a normal way. It was becoming hard work to sing,” Daltrey recalled.
Daltrey sought out the care of Dr. Steven Zeitels, Director of the Mass General Voice Center and professor at Harvard Medical School. Zeitels had previously treated such high-profile patients as Steven Tyler and Julie Andrews.
“When he came in, said Zeitels, “there were changes that were the typical ones we would see, but then there were other changes on his vocal chords – evidence of pre-cancerous dysplasia. It could have been cancer.”
Daltrey was scheduled for surgery and underwent the knife the week before Christmas. “I got depressed after surgery, during what I call the big silence, that’s when I realized what it would be like to not have a voice,” Daltrey said. “I had two weeks of silence. Silence and no drinking. How’s that for a good Christmas. So, you know, it was the strangest Christmas I’ve ever had.”