The Who and the Pope
by Regis Boff
Keith Moon was working as the doorman at the Navarro Hotel in New York City on the night Pope Paul VI died. It was a day off, August 6, 1978, before a Madison Square Garden date.
He was wearing a six foot long Indian Chieftain headdress and for added authenticity was wearing no shoes.
We were sitting around in one of the suites laughing about his potential new career. He was a skilled bellboy after all and given his last week of expenses he would benefit from a little extra cash.
Moon plowed through the hotel room door towing a phalanx of groupies,other bellboys, and our security, still wearing his plumage. His eyes were wide.
“Have you got the news yet?” He was nearly moaning with emotion.
”Some Pope is dead! I heard it from a bloke from Indianapolis as I was tossing his bags into the lobby.”
He was right. The Pope had turned paws up, and the world anxiously waited for his replacement to be announced.
He whirled on our publicist, who hadn’t taken an unterrified deep breath since the tour began.
“Anne get me someone on the line right now from The New York Times and Billboard Magazine. Go right to the top. I am throwing my hat into this Papal ring!”
He hunched over the phone with a guy from the Times waving us all to be silent.
He was shouting,
“No, I am not Catholic and don’t let that motherfucker Jagger hear about this; he is the devil.”
He put his hands over the receiver and in fearful confusion
he yelled back at us,
”He wants to know what qualifies me to be the next Pope?”
Anne whispered to him, “Tell him twenty-five gold albums.”
Sadly, It did not work.