Born in Wembley, London, England back in 1946, Keith Moon started his musical career at the age of 16, in 1962, joining The Who two years later and helping to group to become one of the most important bands of all time.
His energy and rhythm was crucial to the band’s sound and inspired countless generations of players. All The Who members had a broad musical taste that could be seen on their compositions, including Moon.
The legendary vocalist Roger Daltrey proved that when he revealed which was the band that Moon was fanatic about.
The band that Keith Moon was fanatic about according to Roger Daltrey
The Who was part of the so called British Invasion, that was when bands from the United Kingdom appeared and released very influential albums that became successful all over the world. But most part of those groups aimed the North American market. The main reason was because it had millions of fans that could buy their records. Besides it was a much bigger country to tour.
Seeing all those British bands coming the United States, the local bands got more motivated to show that they could also be part of the new Rock and Roll revolution. One of the groups that were really able to evolve and be an important response to British Invasion was The Beach Boys.
The group originally formed by the brothers Wilson, their cousin and a friend, is curiously the one that Keith Moon was fanatic about according to Roger Daltrey. The Who frontman said that in an interview with Uncut 2015, that if the American had asked Moon to join them he probably would.
“The funny thing about Keith, though, he was a total Beach Boys nut. Even in the ’70s, if The Beach Boys had asked Keith to join them and leave The Who, he’d have left us. He was an absolute fanatic.”
“That first night he joined us his hair was bright ginger. ’Cos he’d gone out and bought a bottle of peroxide to become a Californian bleach blond. But with his jet black hair and the peroxide he’d gone like a bloody carrot,” Roger Daltrey said.
Curiously, The Who covered a song in the 60s that became more famous when was recorded by the Beach Boys. “Barbara-Ann” was originally recorded by The Regents and became a bigger hit when The Beach Boys released their version in 1965.
One year later The Who made their version for the song, which was featured on their live album “Ready Steady Who”.
Mike Love said that Keith Moon wrote them a letter asking to join The Beach Boys
According to the Beach Boys co-founder and singer Mike Love, in an interview with Kurt Loder for SiriusXM in 2018 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), Moon once wrote them a letter asking them to join the American band.
“Bruce Johnston who took Brian’s part, after Glenn Capmbell went on to be Glenn Campbell (laughs). So anyway, Bruce took (tapes) of the ‘Pet Sounds’ album and played it to Lennon and McCartney. Keith Moon introduced them. So, Keith Moon wrote us a letter saying that he wanted to be the drummer for the Beach Boys.”
“We had one called Dennis Wilson. So it was Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, you know. (We said) Keith, you’re gonna have to get in the line. (Can you imagine him in the Beach Boys?) He was a great guy, obviously had his issues. But he loved The Beach Boys and a lot of people didn’t in Great Britain, obviously,” Mike Love said.
Moon liked their groundbreaking album “Pet Sounds”
Released in 1966, the album “Pet Sounds” marked the evolution of the Beach Boys as a band. Their sound and lyrics changed, being much more mature and experimental. It continues to be one of the most influential records of all time, that even influenced the Beatles at the time.
As can be seen in an interview with Melody Maker in 1966 (Made available by Yesterday’s Papers), Keith Moon also liked the album. “I think Pet Sounds illustrates the way one man’s mind works — that of Brian Wilson. There’s nothing revolutionary in the album, I don’t think.”
“Perhaps the only revolution is in the group itself. The way they’ve changed with the album. They are not so much a vocal group these days. Vocals, as such, have almost disappeared with this album,” Keith Moon said.
Just like Keith Moon, The Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson would also have a tragic end at a young age. Moon passed away at the age of 32 in 1978, victim of an overdose.
Wilson died five years later, in 1983 at the age of 39. He drowned at Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles.