Brexit band The Who WERE prevented from playing in Europe before the EU

PUBLISHED: 14:22 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:31 20 March 2019

The Who's Roger Daltrey, dismissing the effect of the end of freedom of movement on musicians (pic: Sky News)

The Who's Roger Daltrey, dismissing the effect of the end of freedom of movement on musicians (pic: Sky News)

Sky News

A video of The Who’s Brexit-backing lead singer Roger Daltrey dismissing its effect on bands touring Europe has been shown up.

A video of Daltrey, who says he is “anti-Brussels”, went viral this week after he snapped at a Sky News reporter who asked him about his Brexit views.

Told in the clip, “Brexit looks like it’s getting farther and farther away”, Daltrey, says: “Oh God.”

Asked whether Brexit was going to be bad for British rock music, the 75-year-old responded: “No. What’s it got to do with the rock business?”.

The reporter went on: “How are you going to tour in Europe?”.

A visibly angry Daltrey snapped: “Oh dear. As if we didn’t tour in Europe before the f**king EU. Oh, give it up. Give it up.

“If you want to be signed up to be ruled by a f**king mafia, you do it. Like being governed by FIFA.”

But in fact, in 1966 - before the UK joined the EU - work permit issues and the absence of freedom of movement for Brits on the continent meant The Who were stopped from touring in Europe.

According to the 2004 book The Who: Concert File, which assembles a thorough chronicle of more than 1,500 gigs by the band, a tour of the Netherlands in 1966 had to be cancelled as they failed to gain work permits.

It says: “Jacques Senf, who had promoted The Who’s first visit to The Netherlands in September 1965, had tried to arrange a second Dutch tour for them in May 1966 but the band were unable to obtain work permits in time.

“Eventually their friend Freddy Haayen intervened and arranged [a show in The Hague on October 12].”

British acts are likely to require work permits again to perform in the EU once the UK leaves the bloc.

The book, by Joe McMichael and Jack Lyons, has a foreword by Daltrey’s bandmate Pete Townshend, who described it as “a vital document, especially to younger Who fans who are trying to piece together the real history of The Who.”

Conservative supporter Daltrey is a long-time Brexiteer who has said: “I’m not anti-Europe, I’m anti-Brussels, but people don’t get the distinction.

“That’s why I’m so angry about it. I want someone at least answerable to me that I can say ‘F**k off, you’re useless’.”

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