New old Who footage

You may have heard this past week – especially if you hang out at the iJamming! pub – that Keith Moon is to be honored with a “blue plaque” at the site of the former Marquee Club, 90 Wardour Street, courtesy of the English Heritage Foundation. In fact, if you follow the thread over at the pub, it would appear that our own landlady, Shona, had something to do with ensuring that the wheels were put in motion with the Heritage Foundation, after the stuffy English National Heritage people turned down the application on the basis that Keith hadn’t been dead long enough.

The ceremony is taking place on March 8, with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend confirmed to be officiating. Sadly, at this point, I doubt that I will be there, living as I do on the other side of the Atlantic. Nonetheless, I am thrilled, for the sake of Moon’s legacy, that he has been seen fit to receive a plaque; it’s an important victory in what could be considered a long-standing class war over the relevance of rock’n’roll to the “arts.”

Keith Moon in one of his, um, upper classier poses.

In the meantime, I received a link to previously unseen footage of the Who performing in Cleveland on July 14, 1968, at an event called Musicarnival. Eric Carmen, later of the Raspberries, was in the support band that night, Cyrus Erie, and he offers memories of the night at his website, along with a QuickTime video, shot by someone in the audience, that shows the Who in what appears to be typically fine form. I say “appears to be” because back in the sixties, home movie cameras often did not have sound; Carmen has overdubbed “Substitute” to provide some musical accompaniment. As was often the case in those days, the Who are shown playing in extremely close proximity to each other, Keith’s kit on the floor within inches of his band members. The unknown cameraman seems to have had a particular fixation with Moon, and, once you’ve seen the footage for yourself, it would be hard to blame him. Thanks to Eric Carmen for sharing the film, and for this abiding memory of the event.

“The Who came on and smashed all of their equipment … including some of ours!”

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3 Comment(s)

  1. Si N.

    5 February, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Tony,

    “…The unknown cameraman seems to have had a particular fixation with Moon, and, once you’ve seen the footage for yourself, it would be hard to blame him.”

    Amen-the cameraman was probably wondering ‘WTF??!!’.

    Funny to think that PT is playing a Strat 40 years later.Great quality of footage-big thanks for posting it.
    Anyone got a time-machine handy?



  2. Bengt O. Hansen

    7 February, 2009 at 7:38 am

    To Tony Fletcher

    Hearing the news about Keith Moon being honoured with a blue plaque in London, I’m sure your fantastic biography on the man indirectly has been a major contribution in the process. I’m reading it now, and it’s magnitude and sense of analysis brings a lot of joy and afterthought. Without it, the life of the greatest drummer in rock and roll would have been a shambles of loose ends and myths, and his work might have remained neglected within the higher ranks of British cultural heritage for a much longer time.

    So thanks, Tony, and keep up your good work!

    Best wishes,


  3. Steve Burrows

    21 June, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Dear Tony,

    I have just finished reading “Dear Boy” and found it to be fascinating not only becasue I am a Who fan but because the book reveals such a great insight into an extraordinary personality. Thank you for this.

    I was born in 1966 in Winchmore Hill and was surprised to read that Keith lived in Old Park Ridings for a short period in the late sixties/early seventies. I spent the first 18 years of my life in WH nad hadn’t realised that this was the case. You refer in the book to the fact that during that period Ringo Starr was a friend and neighbour of Keith’s. I assume that this means that Ringo had a house in London during this time and not that he too lived in OPR?


    Steve Burrows

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