If I could go back in time and see any band in music history it would have to be The Who with Keith Moon on drums.
They were my favorite band growing up as a teenager, and I listened to the tracks from the albums countless times. When I was first getting into music, all the music I owned was on cassette. I can remember playing those cassettes into the ground, and I was a master at rewinding or fast forwarding to get to a track or lyric I was trying to get down. Those Who songs brought me so much joy, and I still have them heavily interspersed amongst the other music on my iPod.
I did see the Who when I was in college with Roger Daltry, Pete Townsend, and John Entwistle back in 1989 on the 25th Anniversary celebration. It was their first ever tour without Kenny Jones (Keith Moon’s replacement) and the only tour the did during my “concert-going” years (1986-1996). I saw them at Veteran’s Stadium in July of 1989 and it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.
Keith Moon was a character unto himself. He passed away in 1978, basically a victim of the Rock and Roll Lifestyle. His drumming style was quite unorthodox and he is often cited as the inspiration for the Muppet drumming character Animal.
The Who were famous for ending their act by completely demolishing the stage at the end of their act. Pete would smash his guitar, smoke would rise from all over, and Keith would destroy his drum kit. By the time I caught the Who, they had gotten a wee bit older and a bit more wise. The chaos at the end of the show had ended.
Here’s the Who on their most famous appearance on U.S. TV on the Smothers Brothers. According to legend, Keith had filled his drum kit up with at least 10 times the amount of gunpowder he usually put in his drums for the end of show explosion to really make a splash to the U.S. audience. Rumor has it that this incident is the one that Pete Townsend points to as the catalyst for his hearing loss.