Despite being widely acclaimed as one of the finest drummers the world has ever seen, many aficionados of the instrument will point to The Who’s Keith Moon as a bit of a poser. It means that when we’re allowed to prove that Moon was far more pivotal in the success of rock ‘n’ roll than most say, we take it. Given a chance to witness Moon’s isolated drums, we have to share it.
Hailed as ‘Moon the Loon’ for his off-stage antics, Keith Moon’s figure is often more quickly associated with rambunctious away from music than his sparkling contribution to it. Being a part of one of the most influential bands of the 20th century doesn’t always cut it. Look at Ringo Starr, The Beatles drummer spending much of his career with the Fab Four at the butt of some jokes.
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. The drummer has been overlooked for far too long.
Such like his counterpart in The Beatles, 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.”
Below we’re bringing you another shining example of Moon’s idiosyncratic talent with the isolated drum track of The Who’s iconic hit ‘Who Are You’.
Largely seen as one of the band’s trademark songs, it accurately captures Moon’s ability to sling fills into play like a buccaneering bruiser. While Daltrey’s vocals and Townshend’s powerhouse guitar get most of the plaudits a lot has to be said for Moon’s percussion.
It’s a performance that typifies the drummer, Low slung and with enough animal magnetism to hold everything together, Moon’s powerhouse performances is a shining example to other drummers. It doesn’t always have to be technically perfect to be beautiful.
The clip also shows part of the final album Moon would ever create, dying incredibly young at just 32 in 1978. But it also shows that as well as being able to throw a party like no other, Moon was also one of the most purely unique drummers that you will ever hear.