I Can’t Explain, Pinball Wizard, Baba O’Riley, are just some of the hits The Who came out with. This English rock band truly rocked the 60s with their wild music. But how wild was their drummer?
Keith Moon, the drummer of The Who was quite dedicated to his reputation as the wild man of the band. One time, he missed his flight, just so he could return to the hotel to throw a TV set into the pool.
Who is Keith Moon?
Keith Moon was known as the eccentric drummer of The Who. He was born in Northwest London and grew up in Wembley. Moon was noted to be a hyper active child, with a restless imagination. He attended the Alperton Secondary Modern School but failed his eleven plus exam. His teachers would often have comments like “Retarded artistically. Idiotic in other aspects.” or “Has great ability, but must guard against a tendency to show off.”
Moon joined the Sea Cadet Corps band to play the bugle, but found it difficult to learn the instrument, he chose to study the drums instead. He learned to play with the loudest contemporary drummers like Carlo Little of Screaming Lord Sutch. His style was heavily influenced by jazz, American surf music, and the rhythm and blues.
Moon started his professional career with The Escorts, where he replaced his best friend Gerry Evans. He then joined the Beachcombers in 1962. (Source: The Who)
How Did Keith Moon Join The Who?
It is said that Moon just appeared shortly after a session dressed in ginger clothes with his hair dyed red too. Pete Townsend would later on describe him in this moment as ginger vision. He claimed that he could play better and the band gave him a chance to prove it. At the second half of the set, he almost destroyed the drum kit. (Source: The Who)
Did Keith Moon Have a Destructive Nature?
Aside from his eccentric ways, Keith Moon was very destructive. He was notorious for destroying instruments and being reckless during shows.
When Pete Townsend accidentally destroyed his guitar in a show at the Railway Tavern in London, the audience demanded that he do it again, this is when Moon kicked over his drum kit. The next shows then ended in what the band called as auto-destructive art. This didn’t just end with drum kits, and guitars. Several stands and foot pedals were frequently replaced.
He was so destructive, that it was a regular thing for Moon to throw Hotel TV sets into pools. (Source: The Who)
What Happened to Keith Moon?
Keith Moon died in September 7, 1978 at the age of 32. He died of an accidental overdose of Heminevrin that was prescribed to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms he was feeling. He had an irrational fear of hospitals, that when he decided to get sober, he chose to do it at home.
Dr. Geoffrey Dymond, gave him the prescription for a hundred pills and was unaware of Moon’s lifestyle. He instructed Moon to only take a pill when he felt that he was craving for alcohol, but not to take more than three pills in a day.
After a disagreement over Steak and Eggs with his then partner, Annette Walter-Lax, Moon took 32 clomethiazole tablets. The following afternoon, he was found dead in his flat. (Source: The Who)