Keith Moon

Author: Terry

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August 23, 1946 – September 7, 1978

Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, died at age 32 of a drug overdose.

Moon was Paul McCartney‘s guest at a film preview of The Buddy Holly Story on the evening of 6 September 1978. After dining with Paul and Linda McCartney, Moon and his girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, returned to a flat on loan from Harry Nilsson in Curzon Place, London (near Shepherd Market), where Moon died of an overdose of Clomethiazole (Heminevrin), a medication he was taking to wean him off alcohol. The police determined there were 32 pills in his system, 26 of them undissolved. Moon died in the room in which Cass Elliot of The Mamas & the Papas had died four years earlier.

On the audio DVD commentary to The Criterion Collection’s release of the Monty Python film Life of Brian, Eric Idle talks about the dinner party. Idle relates that Moon was excited about his role as a prophet in the movie. After launching into his speech for the film, Idle and Moon exchanged a “big, warm hug,” with Idle commenting that “he was just such a wonderful enthusiast.”

Moon died a couple of weeks after the release of Who Are You. On the album cover, Moon is seated on a chair back-to-front to hide the weight gained over three years (as discussed in Tony Fletcher’s book “Dear Boy”). The chair is labeled “NOT TO BE TAKEN AWAY.”

Moon was cremated. His ashes were scattered in the Gardens of Remembrance at Golders Green Crematorium in London.

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