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Music drummer of the rock group The Who Keith Moon picture(s)/pic(s), wallpaper and photo gallery.
Birth name: Keith John Moon.
Also known as: Moon the Loon, Uncle Ernie.
Born: August 23, 1946 Harlesden, London, England, UK.
Died: September 7, 1978 (aged 32) London, England, UK.

Keith Moon biography (bio):
Keith John Moon was the drummer of the rock group The Who. As a drummer, Moon became known for an innovative style of drumming. Moon was one of the first players to play the drums as a lead instrument in an era when drums were supposed to only keep the backbeat. Moon also gained notoriety for his destructive lifestyle. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most unique of all rock and roll drummers.
Keith John Moon was born on 23 August 1946 at Central Middlesex Hospital, Park Royal, London to Alfred and Kathleen Moon. He lived in Wembley as a boy and was extremely hyperactive and had a restless imagination as a child. As a youth, the only thing that could hold his attention was music. A report from his secondary modern school is not encouraging his art teacher, for example, commented: 'Retarded artistically. Idiotic in other respects.'
Even at an early age, one of his teachers (Aaron Sofocleous) praised his music skills and encouraged his chaotic style, even if one school report noted "he has great ability, but must guard against a tendency to show off". Moon failed his eleven plus exam and left school in 1961.
On 17 March 1966, Moon married his pregnant girlfriend Kim Kerrigan in secrecy. Their daughter Amanda was born four months later, on 12 July. In 1973, Kerrigan left Moon, taking Amanda with her. They divorced in 1975.

Early musical career:
At the age of twelve, Moon joined his local Sea Cadet Corps band as a bugle player, but quickly traded his position to be a drummer. Moon started to play the drums at the age of 14 after his mother bought him a drum kit. Moon received drumming lessons from one of the loudest drummers at the time, Carlo Little, paying him 10 shillings a lesson. During this time he joined his first serious band "The Escorts". He later spent 18 months as the drummer for the "The Beachcombers", a London cover band most notable for their renditions of songs by Cliff Richard.
Moon initially played in the style of American surf rock and R&B drummers, utilising grooves and fills of those genres, particularly Hal Blaine of the Wrecking Crew, but playing them much faster and louder, with more persistence and authority.

The Who:
Moon joined The Who in April 1964, at the age of 17, an early replacement for their original drummer Doug Sandom. Sandom had left the band less than a month earlier and the remaining members hired a session drummer to fulfill a run of shows that they had already agreed to play. Keith Moon was in attendance at one of these shows. Townshend later described him as looking like a "ginger man" with ginger (brown) coloured clothes and his hair dyed ginger. The band knew that they needed Moon after seeing him practically smash the drum set to pieces.
Moon started off on various 4 or 5 piece drumsets, but made the move to a British Premier double bass kit in late 1965. This was inspired by a conversation he had with Ginger Baker, who told Moon that he had ordered an American Ludwig double bass set and was waiting for it to arrive. Moon decided to simply take two Premier drumsets and put them together. This new equipment widened Moon's playing to an enormous degree. Specifically, he abandoned his hi-hat cymbals almost entirely and started basing his grooves more on a double bass ostinato consisting of eighth note flams, and a wall of white noise created by riding a crash or ride cymbal. On top of this he would play fills and cymbal accents. This would become his trademark style.
Moon's Classic Premier Setup comprised two 14"x22" bass drums, three 8"x14" (Tuna Can) mounted toms, two 16"x16" floor toms, a 5"x14" metal snare (usually Ludwig supraphonic), and one extra floor tom of several different sizes (but mainly 16"x18" or 16"x16"). Moon's classic cymbal setup consisted of two 18" crashes and one 20" ride (Paiste). In 1973, Moon added a second row of tom-toms (firstly 4 and then 6) and in 1975 two timbales. These huge kits became well known, notably the amber set that appeared in the films 'Tommy' and 'Stardust' plus the footage taken by the BBC at Charlton in 1974. The 1975/76 white kit had gold effect fittings and was given by Moon to a young Zak Starkey. His final kit, a dark metallic one, is seen in the shots taken for 'The Kids Are Alright' at Shepperton in 1978.
Early in The Who's career, the band developed the concept of "Auto Destruction", which had members destroying their equipment at the end of their more high profile shows (an act imitated countlessly). Moon showed a particular zeal for this activity, wildly kicking and smashing his drums. During an appearance on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour television show, he overloaded a drum with explosive charges which were detonated during the finale of "My Generation", which singed Pete Townshend's hair and has been credited with starting his tinnitus. Another time, he filled a set of clear acrylic drums entirely with water and used them as tanks for goldfish, actually playing them for the concert - when an audience member asked "What happens with your goldfish?", he replied with a grin, "Well I mean, you know... even the best drummers get hungry." These antics soon earned him the nickname "Moon the Loon".
Moon was enthusiastic about singing. His determination to add his voice to The Who songs eventually led the other members of the group to ban him from the studio when vocals were being recorded. This led to an ongoing game, with Moon trying to sneak into the room to join the singing. At the tail end of "Happy Jack", Townshend can be heard shouting "I saw you!", and it is said that he was noticing Moon once again trying to join in surreptitiously. [citation needed] However, Moon can be heard singing on several Who tracks, including "Bell Boy" (Quadrophenia, 1973), "Bucket T" and "Barbara Ann" (Ready Steady Who EP, 1966). He was credited as the composer of "I Need You", which he also sang, and the instrumental "Cobwebs and Strange" (both on A Quick One, 1966), the single b-sides "Dogs Part Two" (1969) and "Wasp Man" (1972), and the previously unreleased track "Girl's Eyes" (from The Who Sell Out sessions; featured both on Thirty Years of Maximum R&B and a 1995 re-release of The Who Sell Out). Although Moon has also been credited with lead vocals on "Tommy's Holiday Camp" (Tommy, 1969), they were performed on the album by Pete Townshend.

A reputation for destruction:
Moon quickly gained a reputation for being highly destructive. He was known to lay waste to hotel rooms, the homes of friends, and even his own home, often throwing furniture out of high windows and destroying the plumbing with fireworks. These acts were sometimes fueled by drugs and/or alcohol, but most of the time, Moon was simply living out his larger-than-life persona.
One of the most famous stories concerns him driving a car (either a Rolls-Royce or Lincoln Continental) into a swimming pool. It is currently disputed whether this event occurred, with his biographer, Tony Fletcher, denying it, and Roger Daltrey claiming to have witnessed the resulting $50,000 bill. If it did occur, it was at a hotel pool in Flint, Michigan, Bristol Road. However, given the circumstances, the incident seems physically unlikely. This event was most likely fabricated by Moon himself. From his known behaviour, it is not hard to see how such a story could originate. It appears to have been two stories merged together. While in the USA, Moon was throwing a party after a Who show for his twenty-first birthday. The partywhich was hosted in the Holiday Inn in Flint, Michiganwas going fine despite a food fight but all of a sudden some of Moon's friends from Herman's Hermits (with whom The Who were on tour) decided to debag Moon. Unfortunately Moon was not wearing any underwear. Moon, who was thoroughly embarrassed, started to run and fell on his face, resulting in him cracking his front tooth in half. John Entwistle and one of the members of Herman's Hermits then had to rush Keith to the dentist. While Moon was gone, the other people at the party left the ballroom that they were in and began going on a rampage throughout the hotel by tipping over vending machines and taking fire extinguishers to cars, resulting in a fine of several thousand dollars.
It was claimed on Top Gear that Keith Moon did not drive a Rolls-Royce into a swimming pool, but he did drive a Chrysler Wimbledon into a duck pond.
According to the book, The Who In Their Own Words, Moon recounted the story above as having taken place at the Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan and the car was a Lincoln Continental. He also claimed that this was how he broke his front tooth.
Much of his behaviour, though often outrageous, was in a more humorous vein in the company of his great friend Vivian Stanshall, of the Bonzo Dog Band. Moon also produced Stanshall's recorded version of Elvis Presley's "Suspicion".

On January 4, 1970, Moon was involved in an incident outside the Red Lion pub in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Trying to escape an increasingly hostile group of skinheads from the pub who had begun to attack his Bentley car, Keith accidentally ran over and killed his friend and bodyguard, Cornelius "Neil" Boland. Although the coroner said that Boland's death was an accident, and Moon was subsequently given an absolute discharge after having been charged with driving offences, those close to him said Moon was haunted by the accident for the rest of his life. However, Boland's daughter later tried to investigate and reported that Moon may not have been driving the car.
Moon's penchant for the wild life would eventually be detrimental to both his drumming ability and his reliability as a band member. On their 1973 Quadrophenia tour, at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California; Keith Moon took 15 'horse tranquilizers' before the show. When he was informed this was almost 4 times the normal amount for a horse, his response was, "I'm fucking Keith Moon." The tranquilizers caused him to pass out during the middle of "Won't Get Fooled Again", and later, "Magic Bus". After this, the band looked into the audience and asked if "anyone knew how to play the drums." An audience member, Scott Halpin, filled in for Keith for the rest of the show. During the band's three year sabbatical from recording between 1975 and 1978 Moon also put on a great deal of weight. Pete Townshend recounts that someone gave Keith six "pills" which Moon immediately swallowed. Right after he swallowed it, the man who gave him the pills said he did not mean for him to take all of them at once.
Moon owned what may well be the world's only lilac Rolls-Royce, which he painted with house paint. On an episode (aired 2004/12/12) of Top Gear, Roger Daltrey commented that he liked to take upper class icons and make them working class. The car is now owned by Middlebrook Garages (based in Nottinghamshire, England).

Work outside The Who:
Although Moon's work with The Who dominated his career, he participated in a few minor side projects. In 1966, he teamed up with Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck, session man Nicky Hopkins, and future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones to record an instrumental, "Beck's Bolero", released as a single-double later that year. He also played timpani on the song "Ol' Man River", credited on the back of the album as "You Know Who".
Moon is also said to have named Led Zeppelin when an early version of the band was being discussed that would have had himself, along with John Entwistle on bass, Jimmy Page on Guitar, and an undecided vocalist, as members; he stated the potential supergroup would "go down like a lead Zeppelin". He has also joined Zeppelin on stage and drummed along with John Bonham for the encores in a show on 23 June 1977 at the L.A. Forum, as exhibited on a number of Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings
In 1975 he released his only solo album, a collection of pop covers entitled Two Sides of the Moon. Although this record featured Moon's singing, much of the drumming was left to other artists including Ringo Starr and session musicians Curly Smith and Jim Keltner, with Moon only playing on three tracks.
In 1971 he had a cameo role in Frank Zappa's farcical film 200 Motels. He acted in drag as a nun fearful of death from overdosing on pills, ironically. In 1973 he appeared in That'll Be the Day, playing J.D. Clover the resident drummer at a holiday camp during the early days of British rock 'n' roll. Moon reprised the role for the follow up film Stardust in 1974. The film also co-starred Moon's longtime friend Ringo Starr of the Beatles although he was replaced by Adam Faith for the more successful Stardust. He also appeared as "Uncle Ernie" in Ken Russell's 1975 film adaptation of Tommy. In 1976, he covered the Beatles' "When I'm Sixty-Four" for the soundtrack of the documentary All This and World War II. He was to have a part in Monty Python's Life of Brian and stayed in the Caribbean with the six Python members as they wrote the script. He died before it began filming. The published edition of the screenplay to Life of Brian is dedicated to Moon.
Moon owned two hotels, including The Crown and Cushion in Chipping Norton; situated behind the inn was a barn used by the band for rehearsals. The relatively inconspicuous Navarro Hotel, located on Central Park South in New York City, was favored by the likes of The Doors and the Grateful Dead.

Death:
Keith Moon's final night out was as a guest of Paul McCartney at the preview of the film The Buddy Holly Story on 7 September 1978. After dining with Paul and Linda McCartney, Moon and his girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, left the party early and returned to a flat on loan from Harry Nilsson in Curzon Place, London. He died that night at the age of 32, having overdosed on Clomethiazole (Heminevrin), a medication taken as part of a programme to wean him off alcohol. When the police investigated the cause of his death they determined that there were about 32 pills in his system. Some were undissolved. In an odd coincidence, Moon died in the same flat, No.12 at 9 Curzon Place, that singer Cass Elliot (aged 32) died in, a little over four years prior.
On the DVD commentary to the The Criterion Collection's release of the Monty Python film Life of Brian, Eric Idle talks about the party that night. Idle relates that Moon was very excited about his upcoming role as a prophet in the movie. After launching into his speech for the film, Idle and Moon exchanged a "big, warm hug", with Idle commenting that "he was just such a wonderful enthusiast".
Moon died a couple of weeks after the release of the last Who album he appeared on, Who Are You. All four band members are shown on the album cover, with Moon seated on a chair back-to-front in order to hide all the weight he had gained in the previous three years, as discussed in Tony Fletcher's book "Dear Boy". Coincidentally, the chair was labeled "Not to be taken away".
Another irony mentioned in "Dear Boy" involves Moon's obituary, which stated that his age was 33. Moon had spent years telling people he was a year younger than he actually was.
Moon was cremated. His ashes were scattered in the Gardens of Remembrance at Golders Green Crematorium in London.

Events after his death:
While Moon was alive, The Who always performed with four members. Following his death, not only was he replaced by Small Faces/Faces drummer Kenney Jones and later Simon Phillips, but The Who also added keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick to the live band. The Who's drummer's position is currently occupied by Zak Starkey, son of Ringo Starr. Moon taught Starkey and purchased his first drum kit when he was young and was referred to as "Uncle Keith" by him.
As a tribute, one of the bars in the London Astoria music venue is named the "Keith Moon Bar". Roger Daltrey recorded a song, "Under a Raging Moon" as a tribute to Moon.
A biography has been written about Moon by Tony Fletcher, entitled Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon. "Dear Boy" became a catchphrase of Moon's when he started affecting a pompous English accent around 1969, particularly when ordering drinks.
In early 2006, Keith Moon's signature Pictures of Lily drum kit was reissued by Premier Percussion under the name Spirit of Lily. This kit integrated modern features and hardware with a vintage appearance.
Moon's ex-wife, Kim, was married to Ian McLagan of The Faces in 1978, the year that Moon died. She was killed in a traffic accident near Austin, Texas on August 2, 2006.
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