For Keith on his 35th Jahrzeit

The one and only Keith John Moon, rock’s greatest drummer bar none, was taken from this life 35 years ago today. He died a year and three months before I was born, so I was never privileged enough to share Planet Earth with him. It would’ve been nice had I merited being alive at the same time, even for just a little while. It means a lot to me that I shared the planet with John Lennon for an entire year.

When it comes to The Who, I’ve always been a Petey girl, even long before I became a serious, hardcore fan in late 2000. Anyone who knows me well would probably correctly guess that Pete is my fave rave, since he’s a serious intellectual like I am, with a very creative, tortured, artistic soul. But when I was becoming a serious Who freak, Keith was the natural choice for my next-fave.

So many things about Keith propelled him to that honoured second position, including:

His beautiful big brown eyes and brown hair. Keith was the only bandmember with brown eyes. I know I’m biased, since I’ve got big brown eyes myself, but I love men with dark hair and eyes. Blondes and blue eyes have never really done much for me, though there are a handful of exceptions I’ve made!

He was really cute, looking like some innocent little choirboy, but with that mischievous, devilish look in his eyes. It’s always the ones you least suspect!

I love his sense of humour. He seemed like a really funny, sweet person, in spite of his dark side.

Even though he didn’t have the greatest voice (to say the very least!), he put his whole heart into it when he did sing. His voice just matched his personality perfectly.

I love the name Keith. It’s just so rugged, masculine, and handsome, and very underused these days.

He made trashing a hotel room into a whole elevated artform.

Did I mention he was the greatest drummer ever?

He tried his hardest, even when he was in obvious decline. He knew he was playing like crap during some of the Who Are You sessions, but as he made sure to stress, he was still the best Keith Moon-type drummer possible. Even on his worst days, he could still drum better than most people.

You’ve got to love a guy with the last name Moon!

One of my gifts for Chanukah 2000 was a cute stuffed dog, looking like a Husky or Malamute. (I’ve known most dog breeds by sight since I was 8 or 9 years old, but Huskies and Malamutes look so similar I’m usually tripped-up.) I named him Keith, which kind of surprised my parents. They thought he looked like maybe an Abner, and then they were even more surprised that I’d named him for Keith Moon. When I had my accident, they were also surprised I asked for beat-up old Davy instead of soft cuddly Keith. Yes, Keith is a lot softer and cuddlier, but Davy is Real.

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Keith is on the far right. The picture was taken in September 2005, before my stuffed animal collection included such friends as Roger the tiger, Jerome the chipmunk, Manfred the little red tabby who mews when you squeeze his neck, George the big black and white cat, Simon the gigantic frog, an otter, several guinea pigs, frogs, and turtles, my very own Grumpy Bear (the only Care Bear I never got during their original run), and a number of cuddlies from my ex.

This is one of Keith’s songs from the band’s sophomore LP, A Quick One.

Keith’s other song from AQO, though it’s widely accepted in the fan community that John probably really wrote about 90% of these songs. The album is fun ear candy, but not serious, high-quality, or substantial. It’s best-known for the original closing track, “A Quick One (While He’s Away),” a 9-minute “mini-opera.”

May Keith’s dear soul be bound up with the bonds of eternal life, may he rest in peace, and may his memory be for an eternal blessing. He did more living in his 32 years than some people do in a full lifetime.

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