Moon the Ultimate Loon
Keith Moon would have turned 68 years old over the weekend.
He was born on August 23, 1946 in Wembley, Middlesex, England and died at age 32 on September 7, 1978 of an accidental overdose of prescription medication.
An online bio of The Who describes the band’s drummer:
“Keith Moon, one of the greatest of all rock and roll drummers, embodied (The Who’s) explosive energy and anarchic wit.”
And that explosive energy, of course, necessarily spilled over into other realms beyond the band’s musical forays.
Moon “the Loon” not only laid waste to hotel rooms, like many good rock stars of his era, he also extended the destruction to friends’ houses and even his own.
Throwing furniture out windows, setting fire to buildings, blowing up his drum kit.
All in a day’s work for Keith.
In fact, 46 years ago this past weekend (on August 24, 1968), Moon even drove a Lincoln into the pool of a Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan.
But by far his favorite pasttime was flushing explosives down toilets.
So much so that Pete Townshend (from the book Amazing Journey: The Life of Pete Townshend by Mark Wilkerson) had this to say about it:
“One day I was in Keith’s room and I said, ‘Could I use your bog?’ and he smiled and said, ‘Sure.’
I went in there and there was no toilet, just sort of an S bend, and I thought ‘Christ, what happened?’He said, ‘Well this cherry bomb was about to go off in me hand and I threw it down the toilet to stop it going off.’
So I said, ‘Are they that powerful?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, it’s incredible!’ So I said, ‘How many of ‘em have you got?’ with fear in me eyes.
He laughed and said, ‘Five hundred,’ and opened up a case full to the top with cherry bombs.
And of course from that moment on we got thrown out of every hotel we ever stayed in.”
By the way, in case you missed the story, Keith was asked to perform at the 2012 Olympics.
Apparently organizers haven’t noticed the distinct lack of exploding toilets the past several decades.
The Who’s manager, Bill Curbishley, responded:
“I emailed back saying Keith now resides in Golders Green crematorium, having lived up to The Who’s anthemic line ‘I hope I die before I get old,’” Curbishley told Metro.co.uk. “If they have a round table, some glasses and candles, we might contact him.”
P.S. Joe Walsh had this to say about Moon:
“One of the most terrifying things that ever happened to me was that Keith Moon decided he liked me.”