This is a story about Keith Moon, one of the greatest drummers who ever lived. His work with the British rock band The Who helped to make them into one of the greatest rock bands of all time. He and his 7 piece drum set were a part of the band that brought us Who Are You, Baba O’Reilly, Pinball Wizard, My Generation and so many other classic songs. In their early years, the band made their mark on pop culture by smashing and destroying their instruments at the end of their performances.
The moment the American public came to love this British band came in 1967. They were performing live on television. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, a controversial show for the time period, is where we set our scene. The Who come on to play their latest hit My Generation, an act in which they planned to smash their set as usual. What no one knew, not even the other band members, was that Moon had planned to go above and beyond their usual theatrics.
The act began with an introduction of the band where Moon and his bandmates joked around with their host. They launched into their song like any other band would, completed their set and proceeded to start smashing everything up. Except this time, Moon had packed a large amount of gunpowder into his drum set, which he then blew up, on live television.
This act cemented The Who as an outrageous and outstanding group and the memory of Keith Moon survives even after his untimely death at the age of thirty-two. There aren’t many people out there who would dare blow up a drum set on live television. But Moon did it, which just goes to show how unique and daring he was as a performer, perhaps the greatest of his generation.