We’re taking a look back at the mercurial madman behind the drum kit, the brilliant Keith Moon. One quote that has always amused us when we think of the legendary drummer for The Who, is when he described himself as “the world’s best Keith-Moon-type drummer”. On this isolated drum track, he proves that statement 100% correct.
The iconic figure of Keith Moon is one that continues to loom over the rock world. Largely considered in the annals of rock history as the toilet exploding, Rolls Royce swimming, ‘Moon the Loon’, people are too quick to overlook his drumming talent. He is one of percussion’s greatest, alongside Ginger Baker, John Bonham, and more, Moon has always had his detractors.
The Who drummer 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 indeed behind the kit where he was best. Moon always seemed to rub someone up the wrong way.
The issue for a corner of the percussion world is that Keith Moon, despite being one of the best that ever lived, is a little bit, well, sloppy. During much of the band’s incendiary live shows, this was put down to excitement, as he got older, his apparent lack of timing was pigeonholed under the effects of drink. But in fact, it was just an idiosyncratic style all of Moon’s own.
In fact, on The Who’s records, where the band are obviously free to tighten up and manipulate Moon’s drumming as they please, the drummer is even more textured and speckled. He is instead intent on implementing his own unique style to every piece he performs. He brought the anarchy he felt and chased away from the band to the centre of his playing with every show and every recording.
The Who’s 1978 single ‘Who Are You’ was the title track from the band’s last album before Moon’s sudden death. It remains a bastion of not only the band’s unstoppable early period but also of Moon’s impeccably chaotic playing style.
On this isolated track of that song we can hear the runaway train of Moon’s playing hurtling across the airwaves with all the thunder of steel-plated killing machine, with a piping furnace driving it and Moon, the driver, desperately trying to keep it on the track.
Listen below to the isolated drum track of Keith Moon on The Who’s ‘Who Are You’