The Who’s Keith Moon is largely regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time and it is moments like this which prove he deserves his credentials. More often than not when talking about Moon people will first reach for his debauched off-stage antics but on stage, he was an animal.
Moon is thought to even be the inspiration behind the Muppets character Animal, with the furry fiend emulating his raucous and crazed playing style. It’s something that can be easily seen in this clip from 1974 as the drummer lets rip on the kit and wows his audience.
Perhaps as a homage to his animalistic ways, when Keith Moon appeared on the TV show Wide World in Concert: Midnight Special with his face painted like a cat. What’s more, he even filled one of his clear floor toms with goldfish as a prank. A scene which would never take place today.
It would be enough to get people talking but where Moon was really at his best was getting the audience dancing. The drummer rumbles through an entrancing fill and creates a passionate power that seemingly compels the crowd to start dancing.
Often ‘Moon the Loon’ is only remembered for his crazy behaviour. The drummer was a hedonistic rock and roller and fell into a dangerously debauched lifestyle from a very young age. It’s a fact which has left many people to consider him a cheap pick for the title of “greatest drummer of all time”.
While we wouldn’t dare to contend such a title here, we would suggest that the furious firepower and yet undeniable flair with which Moon approaches this solo proves he’s certainly in contention. Moon once described himself as the “greatest Keith Moon-type drummer in the world” and it’s a fitting assessment.
So while other drummers could easily be called the best, Ginger Baker and John Bonham to name the obvious two, Moon is utterly unique. A one-off capable of making dancefloors swell, eyes widen and heartbeats rise. Keith Moon was one of the best and the below clip proves it.