Today would have been Keith Moon's 63rd Birthday. A wild man who happened to come equipped with drum sticks, Moonie will always remembered as much for his lunacy as he will be for his artistry and genius behind the drum kit. Behind not only one but TWO full drum kits he seemed to be a hyperactive flash of waving limbs. He seemed to approach the rest of his life with the same type of reckless (and ultimately, self-destructive) abandon.
However, the unique rhythmic structure and personality that he gave to The Who is something that is often imitated but never faithfully duplicated. "Moon the Loon" was truly one of a kind (in more ways than one). He was the Jackson Pollock of the drums. More than all that, he was the heart and soul of The Who.
Despite having only lived a tragically short 32 years, Keith left behind an undeniable musical legacy that will continue to influence and challenge musicians for decades to come. His unchallenged acrobatics behind the drums and incredible showmanship are just a tiny percentage of why his contribution to the music world will live on for years and years to come.
In celebration of Keith's birthday, I am posting a pretty quick (but nice) summation of Keith's life by non other than the members of The Who. It's a pretty good glimpse into why Keith wasn't just your average percussionist. My favorite part of the first clip is where they break down "Behind Blue Eyes" to just Roger Daltrey's vocals and Keith's drum fills. You can hear how Keith really turned basic drum fills into little works of art.
The second clip is the recording session for "Who Are You?" from The Who rockumentary, "The Kids are Alright". This was one of Moonie's last recording sessions with the band and I think it's a beautiful way to remember his incredible warmth, humor and genius.