Happy Birthday Keith Moon: Performing Live With The Who In 1973

Today marks what would have been Keith Moon‘s 75th birthday. The legendary drummer for The Who was born on August 23, 1946 in Wembley, Middlesex, England. Keith tragically died on September 7, 1978 at just 32 years old from an overdose of Heminevrin, a drug that was supposed to help alleviate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

One of the greatest rock drummers to ever take the throne, Keith’s style was explosive and wild but held together by sheer skill. While Moony’s wildman approach to the drums may have shocked some in the early 1960s, he cobbled together his bombastic approach by studying under one of the loudest drummers in England at the time, Carlo Little, of the band Screaming Lord Sutch (Little also played in an early iteration of The Rolling Stones). Additionally, Keith admired jazz drummer Gene Krupa, whose energetic style he also soaked in.

But there was no one like Keith Moon. After joining The Who in 1964, his drumming helped distinguish the band from other British Invasion groups and his well-documented offstage antics fueled the band’s mythology. Couple that with the guitar and songwriting skills of Pete Townshend, the stage presence of frontman Roger Daltrey and the innovative bass stylings of John Entwistle and the result is one of the greatest rock bands to ever take the stage.

The Who would take the stage at Philadelphia’s storied Spectrum on December 4, 1973. The band had just released their second rock opera, Quadrophenia, and the Spectrum show featured several tracks from the landmark double LP after The Who kicked things off with early classics like “I Can’t Explain,” Entwistle’s “My Wife,” a cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” and “My Generation” as well as “My Generation Blues.”

Pete then introduces Quadrophenia, a story about a kid in the English Mod culture from which The Who came of, and the band proceeds to play the album’s first two tracks “I Am The Sea” and “The Real Me.” They then jump to “The Punk And The Godfather” and “I’m The One” ahead of a complete performance of Side Three with “5:15,” “Sea And Sand,” “Drowned” and “Bell Boy,” the latter featuring Moony on vocals as the “Bell Boy.”

The Who continue on after the Quadrophenia section with songs from their previous two albums beginning with the Who’s Next magnum opus “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and followed by Tommy’s “Pinball Wizard” and “See Me, Feel Me.” The Who would encore with “Naked Eye.”

In honor of Keith Moon, hear The Who perform at Philadelphia’s Spectrum in December 1973 via jumpstartation:

Setlist

The Who at Spectrum

  • I Can’t Explain
  • Summertime Blues  
  • My Wife
  • My Generation
  • My Generation Blues  
  • I Am the Sea
  • The Real Me
  • The Punk and the Godfather
  • I’m One
  • 5:15
  • Sea and Sand
  • Drowned
  • Bell Boy
  • Doctor Jimmy
  • Love, Reign O’er Me
  • Won’t Get Fooled Again
  • Pinball Wizard
  • See Me, Feel Me
Encore
  • Naked Eye
  • Unknown Song