The great and lovely drummer of Spock’s Beard, Jimmy Keegan was kind enough to write a piece for the Lady Obscure Music Magazine about Keith Moon of legendary English rock group, The Who.
Without further ado, over to him…
Speaking musically, Keith Moon was many things.
At the root, he was unpredictable. The way he plays this song is absolutely unpredictable, much like all Who songs. The accentuations happen almost by accident. He plays fills that nobody would think of playing because he’s not thinking when he’s playing. Just expressing. And face it … he was nuts! If we are true to ourselves, our personality comes out in our playing. Keith had a very specific personality. I would never call him fearless. Quite the contrary, I think he was petrified and consequently his playing and his personality were defense mechanisms. I’ll talk loudly so you don’t realize that I don’t know what to say. I’ll act crazy so you won’t realize that I don’t know how to act. I’ll make jokes and be silly so you don’t know that I’m frightened and sad. He was manic. I’ll play loudly with lot’s of notes so you can’t tell that I’m not a very good drummer. Because of his insecurities and whatever he might have been suffering from, he compensated and often over compensated. But when he was on, he was unstoppable. The proverbial fright train!
When I think of Keith, I think of this version of Sparks. It’s manic and yet still precise. It’s rambunctious and controlled. It is all that Keith was. It’s somehow perfect for the song.