Who’s Last: Roger Daltrey On New Music, Final Tours, And 50 Years Of The Who

by (@JordanRuntagh)

For those of us who never got to meet him, could you tell me a little bit about Keith Moon? What it was like to be in a room -let alone share a stage- with him?

Well, most of the time it was incredibly fun. I mean, he was the funniest man I have ever met in my life. When he got on a roll raconteuring, he was an amazing orator and he had a vocabulary way, way, way beyond his education. And he could just rattle off from the mouth like an old stubborn creature over any subject whatsoever. But he would do it like real-life Monty Python. He was a huge fan of Monty Python, so that’s where he kind of based his humor. But he could do it so well. He could out-Monty-Python Monty Python! So it was really like living in Monty Python a lot of the time. And some of the situations, you literally did have to leave the room because sometimes the laughter became painful. You had no more left to cry out of you. But then other times, he could be the absolute utmost and dreadful pain in the ass and very spiteful and very mean. In every way he was extreme, to every side of the personality.

What an amazing man. Just listening to the sketches he recorded for BBC radio, I’m in tears. I can only imagine being in a room with him. That must have been an incredible experience.

Well, it was. You know, it depends which Keith Moon you had. If you had the sober Keith Moon, he was totally different. The sober Keith Moon was very, very well-read, but unfortunately the sober Keith Moon was incredibly boring -which he wasn’t by the way, but he just thought that. So then he would turn into the drunk Keith Moon, which would be very funny for the first three or four hours. And then slowly descend into becoming Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It became quite nasty. So it was a roller coaster to say the least.

How about Mr. John Entwistle? What was he like to share a meal with or just spend time with him as a man?

John had one of the driest senses of humor of anyone I’ve ever known. Strange character, John. I think John always felt kind of overshadowed by the other three in the band -by Pete, myself- because we were the flamboyant ones out in the front. So he used to kind of make up for that in other ways. He really did live the archetypal “rock star lifestyle.” He would have a limo that was twice as big as everybody else’s. You know, everything he had was flash and gaudy. He was a very, very quirky man indeed. But a genius bass player. There’s a bass solo on Quadrophenia -the show coming out- that he plays, and it’s truly astounding what he’s doing. When you think of what bass playing was before the solo in “My Generation,” bass was an instrument that you just plopped on with the drums. It just went “doomp-doomp-doomp” and only played a few notes. When Entwistle got a hold of it, it suddenly became not only that, but a lead instrument as well. All of a sudden all of this other stuff happened and other bass players started picking up on it. You know, he was one of the first ones to play electric slap bass and that kind of slap picking thing that he used to do. He was extraordinary. And like I said, people forget he invented most of that. It all came from Entwistle, and then people saw it and said, “Oh, that’s great, I’ll try this.” And then people got their thing out of something they’d seen him do in the first place.

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