Thread: Keith Moon
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:29 AM
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HipshotPercussion HipshotPercussion is offline
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Default Re: Keith Moon

I'm with Sam here. One of the things I learned a long time ago is that you can't judge any kind of art, be it music, film, TV, painting, etc., by what you would have liked it to be. You have to understand what it's trying to accomplish and then see if, in your estimation, it succeeded.

The Who succeeded brilliantly.

So did Keith Moon.

Gotta admit, though, that what drives me crazy in this discussion is the concept that Moon wasn't a great drummer because he always improvised and couldn't/wouldn't repeat his drum parts. In the '50s, '60s, '70s, and even in most of the '80s, constantly experimenting with your sound and approach wasn't a negative but to many people a sign of genius. Did Monk play his stuff the same way every time? Diz? Brubeck? Trane? They - and their drummers - were all about going out on a limb and seeing if they could keep it from breaking. It was the "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds" approach.

I remember the last tour I went out on in the early '90s, subbing for the usual drummer. I was as ready for the gig as I ever was for any gig - that is to say I had my chops, my faith in myself, and, yeah, I'd listened to the records a few times. Then I learned that I was expected to play a real drum part, beat for beat, for each song, exactly as each had been recorded. I was flabbergasted. I tried my best and only occasionally succeeded. No one ever gave me any crap about it, but I found the experience of merely duplicating instead of creating so unfulfilling that I didn't play in public again for 20 years. (And now it's to play mostly old blues or free form jazz, both of which allow me to relax and improvise and stretch.)

Moon's originality, the wildness that so many people here seem to condemn, IS what made him, yes, an all-time great.
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Last edited by HipshotPercussion; 11-09-2012 at 05:22 PM.
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