Remembering Keith Moon’s genius with 5 isolated drum tracks
The Who’s iconic drummer, Keith Moon, is often remembered as a character of rock and roll rather than a leading light of instrumentation. His offstage antics more often than not overshadowed his onstage performances and his reputation was very much for his wild behaviour rather than his incredible drumming.
The drummer may well have earned his moniker of ‘Moon the Loon’ with some incredible acts of debauchery as well as some of rock finest legends, but we shouldn’t forget he was a monster behind the drum kit. The duality of his career guarantees Moon remains an iconic figure of music to this day. If there was any question marks about Moon’s talent then these five isolated drum tracks prove that he is one of the greatest drummer’s of all time.
The Who percussionist has always had a way of ruffling feathers. Whether offstage, where his notorious antics would see him drive cars into swimming pools put explosives in drum kits, and even pass out in the middle of shows or behind the kit where he refused to play the traditional way—but he’s been given a hard rap.
Moon was often overlooked for his talent purely because his style seemed to override everything he did. Not constrained by rigorous pattern or timing, Moon always let the music run through him and expressed himself as succinctly as he could. Or as Moon himself puts it, he is “the world’s best Keith-Moon-type drummer”.
Although his style was a complete contrast to Ringo Starr, the former Beatles drummer couldn’t help but admire the 100mph performances that Moon would conduct. “He was great. He had his style, and that style worked so incredibly amazingly for the band he was in,” Starr said in 1981 before adding, “the style made it work, and his style made The Who work.
“The ‘loon’ stuff was a big part of Keith’s world,” Pete Townshend once noted to GQ. “His stunts created a constant flow of PR for The Who. Otherwise, we might have discouraged him. They were mostly very funny, but not always. I often felt sorry for Keith when he was in his most ostentatious mode, off stage. It was almost as though he felt his stage work was not enough, that he had to keep performing.”
Moon injected an incredible fury into The Who and since his tragic death, it’s safe to say that they have failed to recapture that wild edge that the drummer brought to their live show’s. He was more than just a drummer and his influence on the sound of the group was intangible.
The reason why The Who were such a special band is that each of their members added a special ingredient into the mix, a factor which made the four of them became something bigger than themselves when they joined forces.
“I don’t think the drums are a solo instrument. Drums are there to set the beat for the music,” Moon once said about his drumming, which is hard to disagree with and that ferocious beat which he would supply for his bandmates to build upon was out of this world. Things don’t get much better than listening to the mercurial Moon’s isolated drums on the likes of ‘My Generation‘ and ‘Who Are You’.
Treat yourself with these five delightful isolated performances courtesy of the one and only Keith Moon, who helped change the art of drumming forever.