Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Been A Bad Boy

I am quickly developing an unhealthy obsession with Keith Moon.

This compulsion to honour all things Moon began many years ago when I was watching a video clip for the single ‘Who Are You’ featuring the band in the studio recording the song. Moon's headphones were gaffer taped to his head so that he could drum without them flying off. That is awesome.

But my obsession truly developed when I was taking a rest in the front bar of the Town Hall Hotel one recent sunny afternoon. The bar was running the DVD of The Who live at the Isle of Wight Festival and the fresh-faced little impish figure, pissing off Pete Townshend with his ADHD-style antics, launching into some outrageous percussive intro to some song certainly caught my eye.

Moon didn't use hi-hats. How cool is that! He just didn't bother with them. He had two kick drums and used them to lay down the rhythm of the song while his hands are filling the sound with what basically is a mammoth drum solo lasting the length of the set.

And he hit his drums hard. I sit at the bar sipping my tasty Coopers Red absorbed by the spectacle and I watch as Moon goes and bursts the head of one of his kick drums. He and one of the roadies are repairing the drumkit onstage as Townshend vamps for a minute or two. Rock and roll.

It's heading up towards thirty years since his death and I'm only now catching up but damn I really like his drumming.

Here is ‘Heaven And Hell’ — The Who's blazing opener from the Isle of Wight concert:


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Blogger Unrelenting Tedium said...

Having torn your shorts...can we look to you to wear a white boiler suit for the next gig?

18/4/07 12:02  
Blogger Paddy said...

I'm pretty keen on the skeleton costume.

18/4/07 12:29  
Blogger tragicflyer said...

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love people totally going for it on stage as much as the next guy, and he clearly is going for it...but fuck that's some sloppy playing. Not just on the backline there either.

Dust off your old Who, Zappa, Hendrix and Cream recordings and they are everywhere.

18/4/07 17:33  
Blogger Paddy said...

Thanks for joining in, Tragicflyer.

However, while the general point that there is a lot of sloppy live recordings from that era is one I heartily agree with and I'll even go along with the more specific one that this song was played sloppily, I hope you aren't pointing any fingers at my Keith Moon. You were waving the blame hand around rather loosely here and I would like to think Moon escapes your sloppily accusatory derision.

Because I'm on a Keith Moon-loving bender at the moment.

19/4/07 13:18  
Blogger Unrelenting Tedium said...

You may notice that the guy in the skeleton costume wrote "Heavan and Hell"....and for that matter another ball tearer in "My Wife" (Boris the Spider has never been a fav nor his two on Tommy...what was it with the Ox and chromaticism!!!)...my advice to you is write a couple of songs and then you can wear the skeleton costume.

If you were to lower yourself from your lofty heights long enough to attend a Squid Ink show you may be surprised to find that sloppiness does not necessarily require totally going for it and can be acheived in a quite underwhelming performance, quite lacking in gusto, also.

19/4/07 14:32  
Blogger silky-D said...

does this mean we may be returning to visit a certain city in the sky?

23/4/07 10:42  
Blogger Paddy said...

If it were up to me, Silky, we'd be living there.

27/4/07 17:38  
Blogger gigglewick said...

My favourite Moon anecdote is his broken arm, after which he gaffered a drumstick into his hand, tied a rope around his wrist and threw it over a beam so that some one could drop his hand/drumstick up and down in time with his other hand.

Awesome rock determination.

4/5/07 18:05  
Blogger Paddy said...

Hi there Gigglewick!

Awesome rock determination, yes. But it may also be further proof that he was completely insane.

Inspired as I am by Keith Moon, I have borrowed Crafty's spare drumkit and am giving it a crack.

9/5/07 08:54  
Blogger silky-D said...

''am giving it a crack.''
the drumkit... or your arm?

9/5/07 08:59  
Blogger Paddy said...

There have been too many medical procedures on my person this week. I am keeping my arms well out of harm's way.

9/5/07 09:20  

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