Monday, January 02, 2006

I Wanted To Be Keith Moon

Keith Moon wore costumes in everyday life and always seemed to be clowning, that's why I thought he was someone to emulate, as I feel life should be joyous. His name sounded mystical too, you take a very rock n roll name like "Keith" and combine it with 'The Moon'. There are so many crazy , awesome and awful things he did in his life and as kid, I had no idea what they really meant. Keith Moon was like a god to me. When I won "best actress in a comedy" at my High school's drama awards ceremony, I talked about the impact he'd had on my young life. When I was Rotary student of the month for 'originality' I posed as him in the school paper,wearing a paper top hat and substituting my guidance counselor's Mercedes for a Roll Royce. I grew my eyebrows to frankly unflattering proportions to frame my large brown eyes ala Moonie. I acted like a nut too.

My best buddy Rachael, was Oliver Reed and I was Moonie and we were able to get the local wino to by us a big bottle of Dekuyper brandy (VSOP Courvoisier or Remy Martin was not in our budget but now that Rachael is a star attorney I'm sure she has a few bottles about;) Then we hung around our High school having duels, quoting Monty Python and Peter Cook and generally being completely bonkers.
I had framed photos of Moonie's glass house Tara. And there's more; my name is in honor of his daughter Amanda Jane Moon, who is supposed to be an absolute sweetheart.
On my very first glorious trip to lovely England, I was at Golder's Green Crematorium third dispersal field to pay my respects to Moonie within a few hours of landing. What a beautiful place it is, to be out 'here' in the fields.
Gradually I decided that Moon was not the way of life for me but that message was really sent home with that reality when for a few months back in 2001, I became best drinking buddies with the hottest and wildest British chick that had ever hit the small University town of Davis California, whom I'll call "S".
S and I took over the college bar scene and like a very feminine Derek and Clive we lived the Moonie way.

Granted S was only 21 and I had to look out for her, so a lot of it involved cutting wild evenings short, just in time. She was also a very serious drinker and I had never drank with the exception of that brief , few crazy months. If she was not out drinking and tormenting frat boys and most men within a three mile radius who could not resist a hot blond from Witney England, she was dead on the couch watching TV, recharging for another night out.It was then that I truly realized that a Moonie type lifestyle was a very hard one on the body.
I was working out nearly everyday with a personal trainer and elite triathlete at the time who knew the local scene and warned me that 'she'll rip you off' as a friend and bring down your stock socially. S did to a certain extent but I forgave her and wish her well, wherever she may be, as a DUI saw her carted back to her parents. She has the same birthday as Keith Moon, August 23rd, so I may never forget her.

It's fascinating to now have the clarity to see heroes as mortal and regular people because I feel it makes for a better world. Being able to have romantic notions about rock n roll is still something I cherish but I see that's its just that; romantic. Keith Moon in a colorful jester outfit running across a green field in search of a rolls royce to smash up is a charming movie I see in my mind, not a life to aspire to.

Pete Townshend once said rather pointedly, that the late heroes of rock that the public holds up as icons were HIS friends.
"They may be your fucking icons, but these were my friends! My friends and they're dead!"

When I was younger I might have felt slighted by that statement, as I felt Keith Moon was my friend too, but now it makes as much sense as a custom made double bass drum kit with the world's finest drummer behind it. I never knew Keith Moon as much as I thought I did, but due in part to his breif mecurial life, I now know myself.


Blogger Justin Kreutzmann said...

Moonie would wish he were you.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Kevin Seegan said...

I saw you like to quote monty python, so I thought I'd give it a go. What's brown and sounds like a bell? Dunggggg.

7:03 AM  
Blogger JackJumpedOverTheMoon said...


I'm sure Justin is right. I'm also sure he'd spend a lot longer in the shower if he was you. (Oh! I'm being cheeky!)

"The life" quickly wears thin. It also makes most of your loved ones very bitter towards you. You are also quite right in saying it is hard on the body and exhausting.

I like that Pete Townshend quote. It's true. While everyone else is thinking how wonderful and romantic the rock and roll life is, these "idols" are friends, fathers, brothers, and husbands to others. The damage they do to themselves, and everyone around them, is not so romantic from that point of view.

Cool post. You know, my boyfriend and I were getting called Pete and Moonie for a while in the summer. (A few wacky drinking binges, and the fact he looks like a younger Pete...) I looked up Pete Townshend to check and see if the comparison held any water. It does, and that is how I found the blog. Crazy world, isn't it?


7:53 AM  
Blogger E.L. Wisty said...

"They may be your fucking icons, but these were my friends! My friends and they're dead!"

So very true. Fans tend to idolize and mythologize everything Keith did. The common image is that he was a loony of mythical proportions and everything he did was brilliant, isn't it?

What I know of Keith is that he was a brilliant drummer and did a lot of crazy things that are not really something to emulate. I *would* have liked to know him for real, though.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Anne-Marie said...

A very poignant post, Amanda- it reminds us that these larger than life stars were also ordinary to their loved ones and are probably sorely missed. The way you feel about Moonie, I feel about Freddie Mercury.


1:25 PM  
Blogger greekzoe said...

Keith Moon was truly one of a kind. I don't think there is anyone who could live the life he did and survive. He couldn't even do it.
I envy you though for trying. It had to have been an "experience".

He was my second love after Pete.
I wish he was still here. What would he have been like had he lived to be 59? That is something to think about.


8:48 PM  
Blogger Claire Eliza said...

Keith Moon has had a huge inpact on my life already. I don't know what will come in the future. Pete, Keith, John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger are the people who I will always care about most in my life. Of course, I say this now but I'm sure it'll change when I meet someone and fall in love, but I don't know... It's sad that my family and friends don't come first.
I loved this post, and the picture were great. A couple I haven't seen before.
I bet Pete would like this post as well.
Thanks for checking out my song! Glad it worked
- claire -

9:30 PM  
Blogger rolywholyover said...

I wanted to be Russ Meyer. But now I just want to be me.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Suesjoy said...

Aw Amanda - what a great post.
I have also come to the same conclusion about rock "gods" (i.e. Pete) of course they are mere mortals - extremely talented mere mortals.
That's so cool that you are named after Mandy though!
I don't think there will EVER be a band quite like the Who. No, I KNOW that there will ever be a band like them!
I was very excited for you when Pete sang his "Super Amanda" song - you truly deserved it! :)

2:30 AM  
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

I really enjoyed this post.

Mere mortals are we all. But some people are just cooler than others. G-d loves us all, but that's just the way it is!
In my real world, I've known some looney but lovable people. I've known really cool, hip and enlightened people. I have also known my share of complete fools and total jerks. I've known cool hip people, that when drinking or drugging, they turn into total jerks or they become even more endearing or they die.
Keith Moon seemed to be all of these. I just wish he had the chance to break through to the other side.
I wish the universe would have heeded the sign on the chair that Keith sat in for the Who Are You album......

3:19 AM  
Blogger Vendelascity said...

You wanted to be KEITH? That's creepy, in an oddly titilatting way... I read somewhere that Mike Myers is slated to play Keith in a movie about Moonie. Austin Powers? That's hot!

Happy New Year, Amanda. You are a total hottie!

5:22 AM  
Blogger SuperAmanda said...

Thanks Vendela :)
It actually was very sweet, not creepy, to parrot Moonie because I had no idea until I grew up what it really meant to live like a nihilist and saw Keith moon as more of a wacky troubador.
And I was really seeking a way to flip the bird at authority and do it with British wit. I had no organized religion, less restrictions and structure than most of my peers growing up, so Keith Moon seemed like going to edge of that. Many kids in liberal families go down similar roads for a time and come back.
But understanding my need to be the center of attention (at times to my detriment) was a much harder lesson to learn and frankly SEE. One can turn around and realize they are onstage all the time and that most of their friends and family are very, very tired of sitting through the same act. They can also forget they realize and go right back into the pattern...
I wish he had made it and was blogging with us all today. He was the number one Who fan too, he loved Pete as much as we all do.

5:55 AM  
Blogger neilbymouth said...

BRILLIANT POST a really great story thanks so much for that amanda,

11:41 AM  
Blogger Calzone said...

Ever read "Full Moon"?

Oh and I'm lonely can I watch TV with you later? I promise I wont touch your breasts

10:08 PM  
Blogger SimonT said...

These pictures are amazing! Makes me very emotional seeing Keith and Pete so happy together. Your story is really cool too. Great blog! Ta!

1:43 AM  
Blogger Big Ben said...

Everyone has heroes but they can never live up to the pedestal you put them on.

Is that a picture of you, va-va-va-voom!

4:08 AM  
Blogger rolywholyover said...

Big Ben,

Super Amanda is one of my very best friends and I can attest that that is, in fact, her. Va-va-va-voom is something like what I said when we first met. I remember that day so well! She was in a whole different bag!

4:50 AM  
Blogger neilbymouth said...

ive been a fan of her profile picture for months and months ive stydied it and studied it, beautiful and clever- a dangerous girl

2:35 PM  
Blogger THIRD OF NEVER said...

I haven't been able to bring myself to read DEAR BOY yet. I'll probably wait for the Daltrey-helmed movie about him, and even though that will be the genuine article, it'll probably be like watching a documentary about a nervous breakdown that you didn't know you're brother suffered.

And on a happier note, yes, we too have studied and studied and studied and studied your profile photo....HOTCHA.

11:15 PM  
Blogger garfer said...

Keith Moon couldn't play the drums, so he played them differently.

I don't think the speed ever got out of his system.

Mad cunt. We could do with more like him.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Fine In My Sky said...

Thank you so much for showing me this blog post, Amanda. Very well written. You are a special girl . . .

6:29 PM  
Blogger cybercop said...

you tits could be a nice pillow for moon. are they real? they look like floaters.

6:23 AM  

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