On a recent trip to visit family I picked up Tony Fletcher's excellent biography of Keith Moon. While much of Mr Moon's life is a cautionary tale (alcoholism, domestic violence, and anti-semitism to name but a few issues) it does offer some insights into how he developed into such an exciting and unique player. Naturally I've been listening to and watching him a lot. Perhaps more than I ever have.
Here's some footage:
Well, first of all, no hi-hat. I think for Keith Moon it just didn't make enough noise for him!
Even in this clip, he has a hi-hat but plays it on his right side and as this pre-dates any cable remote technology, it was most likely permanently closed.
This has led me to practice one day each this week omitting one limb. Yesterday I let my left foot rest. Today it was my left hand etc. I think I've mentioned this before, but I realized a lot of the coordination work I've done in the past meant I was trying to "prove" I had done the work by using all 4 limbs when it would have been better orchestration to leave something else out.
I think also worth mentioning is how Moon "dances" between his various cymbals, often in the middle of a phrase. I believe Stewart Copeland, among others, was influenced by this approach.
Well, there you have it. Like a lot of great players, Keith Moon was a school of one. Let's use his musical example by all becoming as individual as we can.