When was the last time you visited a music store or drum shop? He may be a legend of reggae music, but at eighty-one years young, the percussionist has no interest in blindly recreating the past. No one could ever replace a musician as iconic as Prince. What we still can do, however, is celebrate his life and work with the musicians who helped make him who he was in the first place. Whittling down the list of worthy tracks to just the ten covered here was a difficult task.
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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. Moon enjoyed touring and socialising, and became bored and restless when the Who were inactive. His 21st birthday party in Flint, Michigan , has been cited as a notorious example of decadent behaviour by rock groups.
Moon suffered a number of setbacks during the s, most notably the accidental death of chauffeur Neil Boland and the breakdown of his marriage. He became addicted to alcohol , particularly brandy and champagne, and acquired a reputation for decadence and dark humour; his nickname was "Moon the Loon.
While touring with the Who, on several occasions he passed out on stage and was hospitalised. By their final tour with him in , and particularly during production of The Kids Are Alright and Who Are You , the drummer's deterioration was evident. Moon moved back to London in , dying in September of that year from an overdose of Heminevrin , a drug intended to treat or prevent symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
He was hyperactive as a boy, with a restless imagination and a particular fondness for The Goon Show and music. Moon attended Alperton Secondary Modern School after failing his eleven plus exam , which precluded his attending a grammar school. Idiotic in other respects". His music teacher wrote that Moon "has great ability, but must guard against a tendency to show off.
Moon joined his local Sea Cadet Corps band at the age of twelve on the bugle , but found the instrument too difficult to learn and decided to take up drums instead. He left school at age fourteen, around Easter in Moon took lessons from one of the loudest contemporary drummers, Screaming Lord Sutch 's Carlo Little , at 10 shillings per lesson. His favourite musicians were jazz artists, particularly Gene Krupa whose flamboyant style he subsequently copied. During this time Moon joined his first serious band: In April , at age 17,  he auditioned for the Who as a replacement for Doug Sandom.
The Beachcombers continued as a local cover band after his departure. A commonly cited story of how Moon joined the Who is that he appeared at a show shortly after Sandom's departure, where a session drummer was used. Dressed in ginger clothes and with his hair dyed ginger future bandmate Pete Townshend later described him as a "ginger vision" , : I figured that was it.
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I was scared to death. Afterwards I was sitting at the bar and Pete came over. If you want to come, we'll pick you up in the van. Moon's arrival in the Who changed the dynamics of the group. Sandom had generally been the peacemaker as Daltrey and Townshend feuded between themselves, but because of Moon's temperament the group now had four members frequently in conflict. Moon's drumming style affected the band's musical structure; although Entwistle initially found Moon's lack of conventional timekeeping problematic, it created an original sound. Moon was particularly fond of touring, since it was his only chance to regularly socialise with his bandmates, and was generally restless and bored when not playing live.
This later carried over to other aspects of his life, as he acted them out according to journalist and Who biographer Dave Marsh "as if his life were one long tour. Moon's style of drumming was considered unique by his bandmates, although they sometimes found his unconventional playing frustrating; Entwistle noted that he tended to play faster or slower according to his mood.
That's why he had two sets of tom-toms. He'd move his arms forward like a skier.
Who biographer John Atkins wrote that the group's early test sessions for Pye Records in show that "they seemed to have understood just how important was Fletcher considers the drumming on this album to be the best of Moon's career. Unlike contemporary rock drummers such as Ginger Baker and John Bonham , Moon hated drum solos and refused to play them in concert.
Moon continued briefly and then stopped, shouting "Drum solos are boring! The concert was bootlegged as For Badgeholders Only. Although not an especially gifted vocalist, Moon was enthusiastic about singing and wanted to sing lead with the rest of the group. He provided humorous commentary during song announcements, although sound engineer Bob Pridden preferred to mute his vocal microphone on the mixing desk whenever possible. The setting for "Tommy's Holiday Camp" from Tommy was credited to Moon;  the song was primarily written by Townshend and, although there is a misconception that Moon sings on it, the album version is Townshend's demo.
The drummer produced the violin solo on " Baba O'Riley. Moon played a four, then a five-piece drum kit during his early career. Throughout much of and his setups consisted of Ludwig drums and Zildjian cymbals. Moon began to endorse Premier Drums in late , and he remained a loyal customer of the company. In he moved to an even larger kit,  but without the customary hi-hat —at the time Moon preferred keeping backbeats with ride and crash cymbals.
His new larger configuration was notable for the presence of two bass drums.
Moon, along with Ginger Baker , has been credited as one of the early pioneers of double bass drumming in rock. By Moon had begun to use timbales , gongs and timpani, and these were included in his setup for the rest of his career. When Haynes said that it would be prohibitively expensive, Moon replied: At an early show at the Railway Tavern in Harrow , Townshend smashed his guitar after accidentally breaking it.
When the audience demanded he do it again, Moon kicked over his drum kit. Moon developed a habit of kicking over his drums, claiming that he did so in exasperation at an audience's indifference. During the finale of "My Generation," an altercation broke out on stage between Moon and Townshend which was reported on the front page of the New Musical Express the following week.
Moon and Entwistle left the Who for a week with Moon hoping to join the Animals or the Nashville Teens , but they changed their minds and returned. The intensity of the explosion singed Townshend's hair and embedded a piece of cymbal in Moon's arm. Although Moon was known for kicking over his drum kit, Haynes claimed that it was done carefully and the kit rarely needed repairs. However, stands and foot pedals were frequently replaced; the drummer "would go through them like a knife through butter.
While Moon generally said he was only interested in working with the Who,  he participated in outside musical projects. Moon may have inspired the name for Led Zeppelin. When he briefly considered leaving the Who in , he spoke with Entwistle and Page about forming a supergroup. Moon or Entwistle remarked that a particular suggestion had gone down like a "lead zeppelin " a play on "lead balloon".
Although the supergroup was never formed, Page remembered the phrase and later adapted it as the name of his new band. The Beatles became friends with Moon, leading to occasional collaborations. Moon's friendship with Entwistle led to an appearance on Smash Your Head Against the Wall , Entwistle's first solo album and the first by a member of the Who. Moon did not play drums on the album; Jerry Shirley did, with Moon providing percussion.
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Moon became involved in solo work when he moved to Los Angeles during the mids. Although it featured Moon on vocals, he played drums on only three tracks; most of the drumming was left to others including Ringo Starr , session musicians Curly Smith and Jim Keltner and actor-musician Miguel Ferrer. When asked by an audience member what would happen to the kit, he joked that "even the best drummers get hungry.
In the documentary film, Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who , Daltrey and Townshend reminisced about Moon's talent for dressing as and embodying a variety of characters. Who manager Bill Curbishley agreed that Moon "wasn't disciplined enough to actually turn up or commit to doing the stuff.
Nevertheless, the drummer landed several acting roles. His first was in , a cameo in Frank Zappa 's Motels as a nun afraid of dying from a drug overdose. Although it only took 13 days to film, fellow cast member Howard Kaylan remembers Moon spending off-camera time at the Kensington Garden Hotel bar instead of sleeping. Clover, drummer for the fictional Stray Cats at a holiday camp during the early days of British rock 'n' roll , in 's That'll Be the Day.
This was the last film to star Mae West. Moon led a destructive lifestyle. During the Who's early days he began taking amphetamines ,  and in a New Musical Express interview said his favourite food was " French Blues. According to Townshend, Moon began destroying hotel rooms when the Who stayed at the Berlin Hilton on tour in late Longtime friend and personal assistant Butler observed, "He was trying to make people laugh and be Mr Funny, he wanted people to love him and enjoy him, but he would go so far.
Like a train ride you couldn't stop. In a limousine on the way to the airport Moon insisted they return to their hotel, saying "I forgot something. He then jumped back into the limo, saying "I nearly forgot.