Keith Moon was an exception to every known rule. He revolutionized the concept of the drummer in rock & roll, leading from the back rather than offering mere support. With the Who, he achieved far greater international fame than his instrument was meant to inspire, only to treat his celebrity as an ongoing opportunity to send up the whole notion. He sneered at the dominant British stiff upper lip while appropriating it effectively enough to delete his working-class background at will. He tempted fate with an almost unparalleled intake of alcohol and drugs, beckoning the world to laugh with him at his apparent charmed existence. More than twenty years after his death, Moon is still revered as the greatest drummer in rock history and the single wildest personality in an age of pop excess. His life and work have become the stuff of legend. Here, in the pages of this masterful book, is the unvarnished truth. Music Journalist Tony Fletcher has spent more than three years researching Keith Moon's life and interviewing dozens of Moon's friends, colleagues, and associates. The result is an instant classic, the definitive biography of one of rock's seminal figures, a work that brilliantly illuminates both the tender and self-destructive sides of this singular personality. Wielding the force and propulsive power of a novelist, Fletcher leads the reader through Moon's whirlwind career, making his incredible creative trailblazing easily understandable even to nonmusicians. His clear-eyed reporting of Moon's hyperactive, peripatetic offstage life is compelling and comprehensive, remarkable in its ability to remain fixed on the very human being at the center of the maelstrom. This is the story of one of the most outrageous rock stars ever born -- and one of the greatest rock biographies ever written.
"In this fascinating bio, Fletcher--a lively storyteller with a keen ear for music--reveals Moon to be a master prankster and brilliant drummer, a deeply troubled but lovable musician whose talents and personality were as central to the Who's genius as Pete Townshend's."
Entertainment Weekly, January 22/29, 1999
"Tony Fletcher recounts nearly 600 pages of anecdotes, some hilarious, some deeply sad and disturbing. Unfortunately, he does not get to the nub of the issue: what was the engine driving Keith Moon's gleeful madness?"
Tom Graves, New York Times Book Review, 7/25/1999