Keith Moon #atozchallenge

I was going to do “songs that have ‘moon’ in the title,” then realized I had already done that last August. In fact, you came up with a whole bunch more of them. So, let’s try something else.

Keith MOON

Keith Moon was the drummer for The Who from 1964 until his death in 1978. A great drummer with a manic style that spilled over into his personal life, he was as famous for destroying hotel rooms and blowing up toilets as he was for his playing. Maybe the song I remember best was from Who’s Next, which had all kinds of great drumming on it: “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” This was taped live at Kilburn in 1977, one of his last performances.

That was his style: heavy on the cymbals and tom-toms, and bang the hell out of both.

To look at him, you’d think he was Terry Jones of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and indeed, he brought that kind of craziness to the band. Here he lends his vocal skill to “Bell Boy,” from Quadrophenia, again taped live, this time at Charlton in 1974.

Moon spent much of his time with The Who addicted to alcohol, with brandy and champagne being his drugs of choice. He was prescribed Clomethiazole to deal with the alcohol withdrawal symptoms when he chose to detoxify himself. Typically, Clomethiazole isn’t recommended for unsupervised use, because it’s highly addictive itself and could be fatal if mixed with alcohol. For some reason, Keith’s lifestyle and stories of his antics were unknown to his doctor, who wrote him a prescription for a hundred, telling him to take one when he felt like drinking, but never more than three a day. After a row with his girlfriend at the time, Keith committed suicide by swallowing 32 of them (six would have been enough to kill him). He was only 31.

It’s sad that so many great musicians had a self-destructive streak in them and died much too soon.

And on that note… I’ll see you Monday with a word that starts with N and ends with O.

17 thoughts on “Keith Moon #atozchallenge

  1. He probably had bi-polar disorder or some other issue which went undisclosed since he had….many issues to say the least. Well, Moon rhymes with Loon which seems to work. I have to talk to my brother but I know he saw the Who twice and once was right after that disaster with the seating. My brother was near the front watching them but the crowd was pushing so badly he left early considering what happened in Cincinnati


    1. I’m sure he was bipolar and self-medicating. What a shame…

      I was just talking about the episode of “WKRP in Cincinnati” that dealt with the aftermath of that disaster. It put an end to festival seating, for sure.


    1. Someone else mentioned he was likely bipolar and trying to cope with that without resorting to prescription chemicals. It’s really only in the last thirty years or so that the stigma of mental illness has been removed.


    1. That’s the second time I’ve heard that today… lecycliste (Mark, my friend from high school) says he saw them on that tour, too. He used to live in your neck of the woods, but moved a couple years ago, so I doubt you were both at the same show.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Terrible, really… Maryann noted that a lot of the artists who either commit suicide or die by an accidental overdose are overseen by doctors, too. Makes you wonder who they’re letting into med school. Personally, I don’t want a doctor that’s more than ten years younger than I am.


  2. So many musicians lost to alcohol, drugs and motorcycles. I always thought Kieth would fall to his death from a hotel balcony. He certainly was a strong talent.


    1. Right, you figured he’d end up having a fatal accident while he was destroying a hotel room or blowing up a toilet. Great drummer, but a complete loony — which, as it happens, goes with his name.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. On the Quadraphenia tour in 2013, The Who used a video soundtrack of Keith Moon singing Bellboy instead of a band member doing Moon’s vocal.

    For me, his drumming on The Real Me is his best and most representative work. The Who tour with drummer Zak Starkey, who Moon taught to play. We caught their show in Oakland, California in February 2013.


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