The loss of Keith Moon still plagues Roger Daltrey’s mind, and he often painfully considers if there was anything more he could have done to preserve the life of The Who drummer.
Moon’s battle with addiction was widely known at the time. However, the knowledge surrounding the issue was minuscule compared to what we all comprehend today. His bandmates felt helpless as they watched their friend and drummer deteriorate in front of their very eyes, and their singer still wishes that he did more to prevent the tragedy.
The drummer was 32 when he died, and fans had been worried about his health for years. It had become a regular occurence to see Moon pass out during concerts, and it was a mental slog for the band to get through his final tour in 1976.
All the warning signs were there, and unfortunately, his death didn’t surprise many. Moon passed away after consuming 32 clomethiazole pills, which he was prescribed to calm his alcohol withdrawal symptoms as he attempted to get clean, but the percussionist was under strict instructions to only take three a day.
The air of preventability which surrounds his death has made it incredibly hard for those who knew him to deal with their grief, and all these years later, Daltrey still beats himself for not stopping it from happening. “Huge mistakes? Not saving Keith Moon,” he told K-SHE-95. “I wish I had known more about rehab, and all those things back then, but, you can’t put the clock back and go back there. We tried at the time with the best of our ignorance, and we lost. If it was now, it might be a different story.”
Additionally, The Mirror quote the singer as saying, “We were all floundering watching Keith self-destruct. It was very painful. In those days we knew very little about rehabilitation, we knew very little about AA, NA, all of those groups you could join to get help.”
He added: “I just wish – I don’t know how I would have done it, maybe it’s just deemed to be how it ended up – we could have done more.”
While Moon’s premature death looked inevitable, Daltrey felt like the drummer would be one of the lucky ones who would find a way to survive, but, unfortunately, life would have other plans. “He seemed to have nine lives,” he continued. “There were so many times where he kind of almost should have died for what he had done to himself, but he kind of pulled through it. You always thought he’d bounce back and then one day he didn’t.”
Moon was an embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll excess, and even though he looked invincible, if you embrace hedonism to that extent, it will only end in one heartbreaking way.