Keith Moon sleeps with the fishes
by Regis Boff
Roger Daltrey would not stay in hotels whose windows would not open. John Entwistle wanted long stay overs in cities where the deep sea fishing was good. Pete Townshend insisted his room be as far away from Moon’s as possible. And Keith asked only to be informed they were touring in time to get his outfits together.
Louis XIV, France’s Sun King, had the longest reign in European history (1643-1715). During this time, he brought absolute monarchy to its height, established a glittering court at Versailles, and fought most of the other European countries in four wars.
Had he been offered the choice, he would have opted to go on tour with The Who. It was far more fun.
Entwistle was stone-faced impervious to the un-uniqueness of his fishes. He stuffed them all, and we shipped them to his home.
He would rent a boat and take whoever wanted to come for the day.
There was no career advantage in landing the biggest one. It would have been not polite.
One such early morning in Miami, Moon arrived at the dock unexpectedly and dressed in a white Admiral’s outfit, with a sixteenth-century captain’s hat, shoulder tassels, and a monocle. It was a rare accuracy for him to even roughly guess where the fuck he was going, let alone to be in sync with any dress regulations. In fairness, it could have been a coincidence.
Keith was drinking heavily before the boat began dawdling out toward deeper seas. Drinking after a night of drug-taking was nearly medicinal in his mind—a sensible pharmaceutical rebuttal in Rock terms.
Anyway, the fishing went poorly. After only a couple of hours of seafaring, the drummer began crying and baring his soul to anybody who would listen.
Listening to Keith was always a dangerous mental bear trap because he was very talented and deeply deceptive. It was routine to find yourself neck high in especially embarrassing shit.
He had crashed into an epiphany. He ordered John to turn the boat around and put it into a port near the ablest hospital in Miami. He intended to apply the three days remaining in our stopover, to “purge himself” under the guardianship of “master doctors.”
Forfeiting a show because he passed out on stage was yet to be routine, but it was a deadly threat.
This plan grew support from everyone but Entwisle, who was fishing and not buying a word.
So we continue to troll while Bill Curbishley and I tried to bribe hospitals to take him in.
After admitting a weepy Moon and depositing him in a hospital bed, we set off back to the hotel for lunch, feeling pretty damn smart about everything.
Later that day, we got a desperate call from the hospital saying that the police were on the way, and we had to get Moon out.
The administrator said the drummer was on a payphone in the hallway in his dressing gown doing interviews with the local radio stations.
He was inviting the kids to come to the hospital for a party.
When we got there, the crowd was a couple of hundred deep.