Best Known For
Keith Moon was a legendary drummer for the rock band the Who before his untimely death by accidental drug overdose in 1978.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Keith Moon was born on August 23, 1946, in London, England. He joined the Who in 1964, at age 17. In addition to his work with the Who, Keith Moon also collaborated with future members of Led Zeppelin on several projects. Additionally, he released a solo album in 1975. He died tragically of a drug overdose on September 7, 1978, when he was just 32 years old.
"We didn't go out of our way to be nasty, we were naturally nasty."
Famed rock drummer Keith John Moon was born on August 23, 1946, in London, England, to parents Alfred and Kathleen Moon. His father worked as a maintenance mechanic and his mother was a cleaner. At an early age, Moon showed an interest in music, listening to songs on the family's record player.
Growing up in London's Wembley neighborhood, Moon was at best a mediocre student. He has been described as a hyperactive student and kind of a loner. Moon did, however, show some promise as a musician. He started out playing the bugle and then the trumpet. At the age of 14, Moon received a drum kit from his mother. He took to the instrument without much instruction.
In 1962, Moon joined his first band, the Escorts. He moved on to his next group, the Beachcombers, later that year. Before long, Moon teamed up with Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle to make rock history.
In 1964, a 17-year-old Moon joined forces with Daltry, Townshend and Entwistle in the Who. The band had their first major breakthrough in the United Kingdom the following year with the song "I Can't Explain." Two years later, the Who hit the American charts with their first top ten single with "I Can See for Miles."
In their early performances, the Who developed their aggressive style, which often involved them destroying their instruments on stage at the conclusion of a performance. Moon was a very enthusiastic, although not very good, singer. The rest of the band members banned him from singing on their albums, which resulted in a game whereby Moon kept trying to sneak into recording sessions.
Although the group had a reputation for being a contentious bunch of musicians, Moon flourished in the creative atmosphere. He developed his distinctive, hard-driving style which propelled drumming from merely background support to a lead instrument. He created an enormous drum kit by combining several individual drum kits. Moon was a pioneering rock drummer. As Moon biographer Tony Fletcher told NPR, "Keith was the first to treat the drums as though they were a lead instrument. He really made the drums an instrument that spoke very much in the same way that a lead guitar does."
Moon had a larger-than-life personality and his onstage antics were legend. He earned the nickname "Moon the Loon" for pulling stunts such as filling a clear drum set with water and putting goldfish in the modified "tanks." He proceeded to play the kit during a show. During an appearance on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour television show, he loaded his drums with explosives, which detonated during the band's finale performance of "My Generation."
profile name: Keith Moon profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Although one could argue that these famous folks’ personalities are otherworldly, it’s a fact that their names are generally down to earth. From the conventionally monikered Natalie Wood to the very original Muddy Waters, here’s our list of famous people whose names give homage to the elements and beyond.
Elementals 34 people in this group
The 1960s were a time of significant cultural and social change in London. The post-World War II era, coined "Swinging London," saw a youth-driven shift in culture, from old to new. Symbolized by famous faces like English supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy to "British Invasion" rock bands like the Beatles and Cream, the era created a fresh and modern approach to everything from fashion to music to cultural attitudes. Biography.com looks at the inspirational forces behind the "Swinging London" revolution.
Swinging London - Cultural Icons: 1960s 41 people in this group
Woodstock, the legendary 1969 music festival, changed the history of rock and roll. For three days on a 600-acre dairy farm in the Castkills of New York, 32 performers put on one of the biggest rock shows of all time in front of 500,000 fans. Here are some of the famous musicians who were part of Woodstock history.
Woodstock Performers 23 people in this group