October 28, 2020

1999-03-06 – The Courier Journal

1999 03 06 The_Courier_Journal_Sat__Mar_6__1999_

Fan fills biography of Keith Moon
full of hilarious stories

By FRED suusran

iii. Aligeleh l'lzuly News

When Tony Fletcher was 14. he
attended an exhibit of Who memora-
bilia curated by the group‘s fans.

While studying a life-size hologram
of Keith Moon at the drums. the boy
turned to find the real thing standing
next to him.

Pulling from his bag a copy of the

fanzine he produced for his school-.

mates, Fletcher asked Moon to auto-
graph it.

After a short conversation with the
teen, Moon gave Fletcher his address
and said to drop by sometime. A week
or so later, Fletcher went to the posh
London apanment, but there was no
answer.

Just a couple of weeks later. Moon
was dead.

l’letcher tells that story as an epi-
logue in “Moon: The Life and Death of
a Rock Legend" (Spike Books; $30).
his wonden‘ul biography of the manic.
full-throttle hedonist and drummer

whose life was a non-stop. out-of-con-
trol party.

Music journalist Fletcher spent
more than three years researching
Moon‘s life and intewiewed dozens of
the flamboyant musician‘s friends and
colleagues.

As for the surviving members of the
Who, only bassist John Entwistle par-
ticipated. Pete Townshend explained
that he no longer had anything good
to say about his former drummer, and
Roger Daltrey felt the biography
would conflict with a proposed film
project.

In any case. it‘s hard to imagine that
this highly readable. unvamished,
600-page life story could be much
more complete.

“Moon" is full of hilarious stories
but never ignores the fact that Moon’s
energetic drumming is what made the
Who so distinctive.

Fletcher does a good job of making
this musical trailblazing easily under-
standable even to non-musicians.

The author. who previously wrote
books on REM. and ‘805 band Echo
and the Bunnymen, also remains
fixed on the troubled man at the
center of the maelstrom.

It's a shame “Moon“ has to end
so sadly. But at the very least
you’ll want to blast your Who
albums. At most, you‘ll wreck a
hotel room in Moon's honor.

“For me. Keith Moon had
been more than just a world-
famous rock star, more than
simply a brilliant drummer.
more even than the most irre»
pressible and carefree char-
acter of rock ’n‘ roll‘s last 15
years,” Fletcher sums up.

“He had been a human
being. an approachable.
affable man who had
never forgotten what it
was like to be a fan or a
dreamer. More than

that, for those few min- "m
utes that August (at the 473 “WP!

exhibit), he had been
as a friend.“