The Life and Death of A Rock Legend

Book - 1999
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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.

Publisher: New York : Spike, c1999.
ISBN: 9780380973378
Characteristics: xiv, 608 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


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Oct 10, 2017

A remarkable biography of the former Who drummer, who died in 1978 at the age of 32. Despite being 600 pages long, this is a stylish and highly readable book. Fletcher is an accomplished researcher with a historian's eye for detail. But he's also a perceptive critic, separating the top-shelf stuff (the Who's 60s singles, Who's Next, parts of Tommy and Quadrophenia) from the crud (Moon's solo album, everything after Quadrophenia). The bio achieves a remarkable balance: Moon was an innovative and ferocious drummer who defined The Who's sound, and a kind and absurdly generous man. He was also an alcoholic and pill addict. He broke his wife's nose more than once. And he destroyed more hotel rooms and cars than he had hot meals. Reading the last 100 pages is like watching the proverbial car crash in slow motion. You know how it's going to end, and keep thinking "Why didn't someone do something?" As Fletcher points out repeatedly, many people tried, but Moon just seemed like a person who was destined to burn bright and flame out.

Mar 16, 2015

You are in for a treat with this one. One of the best books on rock and roll I've ever read. It's just very well-written and all the stuff about the Who is great. Kudos. It's was a joy to read.


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