Tuesday 23rd August 2016 would have been the 70th birthday of Keith Moon, former drummer of British rock band The Who.
Affectionately known as “Moon the Loon”, he was renown for his madcap antics and eccentric behaviour, which included driving a Lincoln Continental into a Holiday Inn swimming pool on his 20th birthday (this has often been wrongly reported as being his 21st birthday, being probably due to the legal age of drinking in the US being 21).
As a drummer he had few peers. Voted the 2nd greatest drummer in history by a Rolling Stone poll, he played the skins similarly to his lifestyle, with a sense of wild abandon that blew the minds of fans and admirers alike.
But he is mainly remembered for his life of excessive drinking and partying which eventually took it’s toll. He regularly smashed his drum kit on stage, and became infamous for trashing hotel rooms along with the obligatory throwing the TV out of the window. He was also fascinated with blowing up toilets with explosives (cherry bombs). Is it any wonder that many hotel chains refused to accept him on their guest list.
Keith Moon drum solo
Moon died on 7th September 1978 at the age of 32 from an overdose of the prescription drug Heminevrin.
Used to combat alcoholism or withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, he was given 100 tablets to use “as he pleased” but to take no more than 3 a day.
32 were found in his system with just 6 digested (certainly enough to kill an adult).
Spookily that same flat was also the location for “Mama” Cass Elliot’s death 4 years previously and Nilsson was concerned about letting it to Moon, considering it to be cursed.
Fellow Who member Pete Townsend wrongly assured him that “lightning would not strike in the same place twice”. Sadly it did.