This article is for quizzes on Monday January 18th...

Keith John Moon (23 August 1946 – 7 September 1978) was an English drummer who played with the English rock band the Who. He was noted for his unique style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour. His drumming continues to be praised by critics and musicians. He was posthumously inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1982, becoming only the second rock drummer to be chosen, and in 2011, Moon was voted the second-greatest drummer in history by a Rolling Stone readers' poll.
Moon grew up in Alperton a suburb of Wembley, northwest London, and took up the drums during the early 1960s. After playing with a local band, the Beachcombers, he joined the Who in 1964 before they recorded their first single. Moon remained with the band during their rise to fame, and was quickly recognised for his drumming style, which emphasised tom-toms, cymbal crashes, and drum fills. He occasionally collaborated with other musicians and later appeared in films, but considered playing in the Who his primary occupation and remained a member of the band until his death. In addition to his talent as a drummer, however, Moon developed a reputation for smashing his kit on stage and destroying hotel rooms on tour. He was fascinated by blowing up toilets with cherry bombs or dynamite, and by destroying television sets.

On 4 January 1970 Moon accidentally killed his friend, driver and bodyguard, Neil Boland, outside the Red Lion pub in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Pub patrons had begun to attack his Bentley and Moon, drunk, began driving to escape them. During the fracas, he hit Boland. After an investigation, the coroner ruled Boland's death an accident and Moon received an absolute discharge after being charged with a number of offences.

Those close to Moon said that he was haunted by Boland's death for the rest of his life. According to Pamela Des Barres, Moon had nightmares (which woke them both) about the incident and said he had no right to be alive.

author profile image