Moon:: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend

Tony Fletcher, Author, Tony Fletcher, Foreword by William Morrow & Company $30 (608p) ISBN 978-0-380-97337-8
Unlike other memorable figures of 1960s rock and roll, Keith Moon's one-dimensionally hedonistic persona presents quite a challenge to his biographer. Fletcher does a noble job, having gone to scholarly extremes to offer a thoroughly detailed portrait of the talented but self-destructive drummer for the Who. But no amount of detail can surmount the problems Moon poses as a subject. After all, Moon was a drummer; despite Fletcher's enthusiastic attempts, descriptions of drum fills quickly grow tedious. Fletcher focuses instead on Moon's legendarily hell-bent lifestyle, but perhaps due to the biographer's commitment to accuracy, the rock star's childish escapades soon become repetitive and monotonous. Still, students of the era and of the Who will delight in Fletcher's painstaking researches, even when they lead him to debunk legends that Moon himself created. One famous tale of destruction in a hotel whose manager dared to call the Who's music ""noise,"" for instance, turns out to be no more than Moon's self-aggrandizement. Readers who feel that they missed a grand party by being born too late to enjoy the 1960s, on the other hand, will be disillusioned to discover that drunks were just as boorish and sad 30 years ago. Fletcher reveals Moon not as a spokesman for his generation but rather as a casualty of the empty-headed glorification of youth. This revelation ultimately inspires a greater appreciation for those aging rock stars who have indeed managed to grow up and grow old. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1999
Release date: 02/01/1999
Paperback - 624 pages - 978-0-380-78827-9
Paperback - 624 pages - 978-0-06-229308-4
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