Thoroughly enjoyed 2 hours of ‘The Story of The Who’ last night on BBC4. What a story it was.
The ultimate rock’n’roll band. A Rolls Royce driven into a swimming pool, copious amounts of drugs, lots of girls and the premature death of two band members. During one gig, Moon was carried off stage - completely comatose.
30 years on, Pete Townshend looked visibly choked when talking about the (not wholly unexpected) death of Keith Moon and Roger Daltrey remarked ‘Keith seemed to think he was invincible. He thought I am “Keith Moon of The Who”.’
Townshend’s and Daltrey’s immediate reaction to Moon’s death was ironic; they tried to assuage feelings of guilt by going out, doing ‘crazy things’ and experimented with ’even more substances’.
I never appreciated what a great bass player John Entwhistle was and he seemed the quiet, sensible one although he later died on tour in Las Vegas, in bed with a woman, after snorting cocaine (from a heart attack). Well it sure beats dying in your sleep.
There was some great footage and interviews but this clip epitomised The Who at their supreme best.
The American host has a chat with the band and introduces ‘My Generation’ with the immortal words: ‘You’re going to be surprised at what happens. This is excitement.’
The band ended a brilliant performance by trashing their instruments with the normal dry ice and smoke bombs.
However, no-one (not even the other band members) knew that Moon had bribed a stage-hand to pack his drum kit with explosives. The effect reminds me of the line from the classic film ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ - ‘Do you think we used enough dynamite there, Butch ?’