As Roger Daltrey prepares to publish his long-awaited autobiography and release his compelling new solo album, The Who's singer - probably the most garlanded and most singular frontman in the annals of rock - opens up about how his recent brush with death altered his attitude towards mortality. All this in a year that sees the 40th anniversary of the band's last great studio album, Who Are You, and the 40th anniversary of the death of one of the 20th century's most notorious wild men, the thought-to-be indestructible Keith Moon. By Keith Moon was already a legend in his own Bacardi and Coke. Not just the one, mind. His antics were considered so outrageous that he made Keith Richards , Jim Morrison and Ozzy Osbourne all seem like mischievous altar boys.
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By Christopher Sandford. The Rolling Stones concert in Toronto promised to be a dazzling affair, the stage filled with fog machines, flame-throwers and a ft scaffold from which Mick Jagger would belt out the opening lines of Sympathy For The Devil. There was just one problem. Hardly a matter of life and death, you might think, but this was Keith Richards' favourite pre-show treat and he flatly refused to go on until a replacement was cooked and brought to the venue. The audience of 53, people were forced to wait as this was delivered amid scenes reminiscent of an organ transplant mercy dash, with a full-scale police escort, and security guards barking into walkie-talkies that 'the pie is in the building'. Only once he had eaten it did Richards agree to perform. This incident, in September , was typical of the whimsical self-indulgence that was the result of being endlessly humoured for more than 25 years.
There are many versions of what went down at Keith Moon's 20th birthday party but they all involve the Who drummer ending up without pants. We know the bacchanal took place at the Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan, and that Moon, fleeing sheriff's deputies, slipped on some birthday cake and chipped his tooth. As for the rest?
First out of the window was the record player, disappearing into darkness before shattering as it hit the ground 12 storeys below. Next came the chairs, a glass-topped table and pictures ripped from the walls. Then the TV, always a highlight, blasting into a thousand pieces like a small bomb.