Iconic model who married Keith Moon dies in crash

Ian Herbert
Friday 04 August 2006 00:00 BST

One of the iconic models of the Sixties, who entranced London and became the teenage bride of The Who's drummer, Keith Moon, has died in a car accident.

Kim McLagan, who married the former Small Faces keyboard player Ian McLagan after years of abuse in which the self-destructive Moon chased her around their home with a shotgun, was killed when her car was hit by a truck in Texas on Wednesday. She had apparently driven through a stop sign in Travis County, according to a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. She died at the scene of the accident. She was 57.

There was no more appropriate symbol for Mrs McLagan's tumultuous years with Moon, who idolised her, than the champagne bottle that he famously threw at her during one of many fights at the London flat they shared in the late Sixties. It was embedded in the wall and Moon put a frame around it. Moon's chauffeur, Dougal Butler, described in his memoir, Full Moon, how his boss adored her. "There is no question at all, that [he] only ever loved one woman in his life and that woman is Kim. The only real question is whether there is anyone else he treats worse," Mr Butler wrote.

The couple met at a gig in Bournemouth where, as the hairdresser Kim Kerrigan, she had started modelling at 15. Her parents relocated to the seaside town after bringing her up in Malaysia and Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in east Africa, where her father ran rubber and coconut plantations.

She was more shy and softly spoken than some models, which explained her relatively low profile, but her deep-set blue eyes, hourglass figure and flipped-up hair captivated many, including Moon, who was a year older than her.

Kim, who changed her name from Patricia to avoid comparisons with the model Pattie Boyd, married him in March 1966. She later appeared in the video of The Beatles' song "All You Need Is Love". "It wasn't the way I planned it, but I really, really loved him," she once said. "He was funny. He was lovely. But it wasn't something I was looking for." The couple's daughter, Mandy, was born four months after the wedding.

Moon was fond of telling how he and Rod Stewart were both dating Kim at the same time and only discovered the fact when they took the same train from London to Bournemouth to see her. "I showed Rod a picture of Kim and he said, 'Yeah, that's 'er,'" Moon related. But by 1973, Moon's womanising, frequent absences and violence forced his wife to leave for a hotel with their daughter. She never went back.

She began a relationship with Ian McLagan, and they married in 1978, the same year that Moon died of a drugs overdose.

The couple moved to the US and eventually settled at a 15-acre range in Travis County, near Austin, Texas, in 1994, where she opened a spa and McLagan continued his music career. The couple had no children from their 28-year marriage.

The spa's website betrays no hint of her adventurous past. "Originally from London, I moved to Texas in 1994," she states.

But Moon evidently found it harder to forget. Mr Butler described being in an Indian restaurant with him some years after she had left when they encountered a waitress who looked like Kim. Moon burst into tears.

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