Perhaps no individual embodies the wild side of rock and roll better than Keith Moon. On the 41st anniversary of Moon’s passing, we wanted to spotlight the incredible legacy of The Who’s manic drummer.
Moon literally got his job with The Who by telling the band that he was better than their previous drummer, subsequently proving himself worthy of the rhythm position. His drumming was practically a lead instrument for The Who; Keith Moon was the backbeat that powered the band’s explosive live sound throughout the 1960s and 1970s. With John Entwistle, the two were one of the tightest rhythm sections that rock music has ever seen.
Of course, Keith Moon is known as much for his wild antics as his talent. He famously drove a car into the pool of a Holiday Inn on his 22nd birthday, and would regularly destroy hotel rooms on tour. The drummer also famously destroyed his instruments at performances, though the band’s appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour sealed his reputation. Moon asked a stagehand to rig his drums with an extra charge of dynamite, such that they would explode dramatically at the end of their performance of “My Generation.” The resulting explosion was pure chaos, with guitarist Pete Townshend temporarily losing his hearing at the time.
Fortunately, as this was taped for a television program, the band recovered the footage for their 1979 documentary concert film The Kids Are Alright. The video perfectly captures the Moon legacy: incredible drumming and dastardly pranksmanship. Enjoy!
Keith Moon Blows Up His Drum Set on The Smothers Brothers – “My Generation”
[Video: familiar to billions]
Happy birthday Moonie!
[Originally published 8/23/16]