The Who

by Regis Boff

Keith Moon had found an ax. It was a long handled fireman’s ax that you often see in old buildings. They are usually fixed to a wall next to fat canvas water hoses.

He was in the middle of the room, covered with deserts and pillow feathers. He was still wearing his stage outfit but had added a  sailor’s cap.

I had arrived late and sat down next to Townshend who was egging Moon on. He was applauding that the giant coffee urn and the crystal glassware were certainly receiving what they had long deserved. The drummer always looked to Pete for warrant and validation. I would let Keith know in the next couple days what this evening would cost him. It was what I did.

The after-show hospitality room was the most fun place in the world. There would be celebrities, record company executives, agents, promoters, local fashion models whose agencies were routinely cleaned out with free tickets, old friends of the band, girls hand selected by the band’s butlers during the show, local drug dealers, guitar roadies, groupies and the band’s personal security.

All were now glued against the room’s walls, judging Keith as an unstable psychotic who might come for them next.

One could sense, if you knew him, that Moon had almost played out the invention left in the battered room.  I supposed he was continuing now more for the sake of his ax, which he did not want to disappoint.

One could never be solidly certain why Pete did anything. There was a large round clock on the wall across from us. Moon had now come to a drained halt and was leaning on his battle-ax like a chicken who had just felled a redwood but was not sure what to do with it.

Townshend got up and took the ax from his hands. He walked over to the clock and smashed it.

He handed me the ax and said, “Put me down for one clock.”