September 26, 2020

1999-01-28 – Courier Post

1999 01 28 Courier_Post_Thu__Jan_28__1999_

The rock ’11’ rollicking life and death of Keith Moon

Iv EFF arm

Gannett News Service
ho was Keith
Moon? Just anoth-
er bright light in
the galaxy of
doomed rock

stars?

You already know the cos-
mology: Jimi Hendrix. Janis
Joplin. Jim Morrison and Led
Zeppelin drummer John Bon-
ham. just to name a few.

All seemed to follow The
Who's anthem of a frustrated
generation: “Hope I die before
I get old."

It's not surprisin:~ Hut The
Who. one of the most influen-
tial rock bands ever. con-
tributed a mighty warrior to
this roster of waste. drummer

Keith Moon. Until his death
in 1978. Moon pranced
through life as a party imp of
the perverse. merrily flinging
sticks of dynamite about
without any regard for his
targets. His behavior was
equally amusing and disturb-
mg.

In Moon: The Life and
Death of a Rock legend (Spike
Hardcover. 830). 'Ibny Fletch-
er pursues his own target
with gusto. And it's a difi'icult
tamet to pin down. as Fletch-
er confesses The subject has
not conducted interviews
since his death. and anything
Moon did say while alive was
often a lie. if not obscured by
a haze of alcohol and drug
use

'Dnce he realized how

easy it was to rewrite the
truth." Fletcher writes of
Moon. “he never stopped. Fal-
sities and fibs fell from his
mouth with ever-increasing
regularity Keith was not so
much a compulsive liar. how-
ever. as a compelling liar. one
whom people wanted to be
lieve. with the press especial-
ly gullible."

The author. the book jacket
tells us. “was born in York-
shire. England. almost the
exact week Keith Moon joined
the band that would become
The Who.“ And Fletcher. we
am assured. “still neasmes
the great drummer's auto-
graph on a 1978 issue of the
magazine Jammingf. which
he started as a schoolboy in
London."

Well, if he’s one of those
minutiae-obsessed fans. then
perhaps Fletcher (who’s writ-
ten books on R.E.M. and Echo
and the Bunnymen) also owns
the barbecued pig head that
Moon once hid in the bed of
Herman Hermits drummer
Barry Whitwam.

But more telling is a com-
ment early in the book in
which Fletcher notes that Eal-
ing Road. in the west-London
suburb of Wembly. where
young Moon grew up. “stops a
good mile or two short of Ba]-
ing itself." That detail. passed
along in a footnote. suggests
Moon isn‘t simply the work of
a “Titer pawing through end-
less magazine and newspaper

“ See noon. Page 5E

Gannett News Sevvvce

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