Monday, April 12, 2010

Searching for Keith Moon

As my evening winds down and I watch TV as I relax and prepare for bed, I do what every contemporary American male does: Flip through the channels incessantly. Upon doing so this evening I stumbled across yet another VH1 documentary featuring The Who. I rather like The Who, especially the earlier stuff, because many of their songs propagate a primal rush of adrenaline within me that makes me feel alive. I had not seen this particular documentary before (most of the other ones are lousy, or as The Who would say, rubbish) so I put the remote down and watched. I realized for the first time something my dad has been trying to tell me for years: Keith Moon is a sloppy drummer. I know it may be rock and roll blasphemy, but he really is.

Moon's place in the rock and roll drummer pantheon was built on a foundation of misunderstanding. We see his incredible energy, on-stage theatrics and highly entertaining personality and want desperately to like him. He are unable to see through this charming fog and look at Moon for what he truly was: erratic and sloppy. His skill as a drummer was limited.

I couldn't help but wonder if history has done the same thing with athletes. Who have we overrated as on-field performers because we happened to like some secondary characteristic about them? The first name that comes to mind is Joe Namath (I need to do some research to back it up). Conversely, who have we underrated because they were pricks? Rick Barry, maybe? I will think long and hard about candidates for the "Keith Moon All Star Team" and try to have a nice sized list by tomorrow evening. Until then, I am open to suggestions.

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