6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Keith Moon

August 23, 2016

If there's a rock and roll heaven, today Keith Moon is having a hell of a bash, and it probably involves flushing explosives down the toilet. Keith Moon, who would have turned 70 years old today, had a wild, mesmerizing style of drumming, and off the stage he was even wilder. He died in 1978, after overdosing on a drug meant to cure alcoholism.

Here are some things you may not know about this iconic drummer.

1. He was not the Who's original drummer. He replaced a guy named Doug Sandom, who was in his 30's and couldn't keep up with the lifestyle of the rest of the band, still in their teens.

2. Keith  Moon may have been responsible for Pete Townshend's hearing loss. He was a fan of putting explosives in his bass drum, and for an appearance on the Smothers Brothers TV show, he packed in twice the normal amount of explosives. That sent Roger Daltrey flying and reportedly caused Townshend to become partially deaf.

3. The other members of the Who at times found his unconventional playing frustrating; Entwistlesaid that he tended to play faster or slower according to his mood.

4. Moon hated drum solos and refused to play them in concert.

5. When his bandmates were recording vocals in the studio, he'd try to sneak in to screw them up and make them laugh.

6. On his 21st birthday, he drove a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool at a Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan.  Or did he? Pete Townshend said it never happened, and was an "erroneous conflation" of other events. Roger Daltrey also denies that it happened. In one interview he said  "Moon did not drive a Rolls-Royce into a swimming pool, but he did drive a Chrysler Wimbledon into an ornamental pond." In another interview however, he said it did happen.  Aah, rock and roll.