Music: Lyric Sheets: The Death of Keith Moon

Keith Moon of The Who, madcap and probably the best rock drummer ever, died 20 years ago this year. An in-depth book about him, Dear Boy, is due out in September.

I remember when he died because

The headline read:

Keith Moon ist Tot

And I came home from Germany

That autumn on my own

Across Westphalian countryside

The train I'd boarded trundled on

Through little towns and cabbage fields

And I had time to think:

I'd seen him several years before

One cold October on TV

I must have been thirteen or so

His band were in the charts

And what I noticed most of all

About this madman drummer was

The sheer defiant joy with which

He beat his kit on `I'm A Boy'

Hammering the hanging toms

Smashing seven colours

From the see-thru snare.

And all the time

Open mouthed with pilled-up eyes

He gurned and gestured

From the screen

While cymbals on the taut refrains

Sizzled like electric trains

A floor-tom like an oil tin

Brought the second chorus in.

I remember when he died because

The headline said

Keith Moon was dead.

And I came home from Germany

That autumn on my own.

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