The Life and Death Of Keith Moon.

 Jim McCarthy/March 2015


I am re-reading Tony Fletcher’s Dear Boy book, which I originally read about ten or so years ago, when I began writing for Omnibus. I am enjoying it (again) so far.

Tony’s book is a 569 page tome and I have exactly 144 pages to attempt to encapsulate Keith’s short, vibrant and troubled life in a condensed manner.

I don’t wish to over-sensationalise Keith’s life. To not turn it all into a Moon The Loon-fest, of that I am fully aware.

I am starting the book with a couple of riotous pages of Keith playing with The Who at an early gig.

After that it fast-forwards to his second to last day on this earth and his attendance with Annette Walter-Lax at the Buddy Holly premiere i

Covent Garden, London. The pages will end as he goes to bed that night. It does not reveal his death at the age of 32, that will come at the graphic novel’s coda.


It then examines his hyperactive manner as a child and his early love for music as an avid listener of old 78rpm recordings.

The book will attempt to deal with the broad overview of his career, The Who’s early excitement and artistic progression.

It will also attempt to inject some salient points about Keith being caught in the grip of addictions,

most especially (in my opinion) to alcohol, as perhaps his primary addiction.


Hopefully Tony may write a foreword as it is based on his Dear Boy book. I am to write an afterword,

discussed with David called Drums and Drink and Rock and Roll. In which I examine Keith’s drumming style and in relation to some of the

other great 60s /70s British beat drummers (such as Kenney Jones, Ringo, Bev Bevan, Simon Kirke etc, etc).

I will shadow this with my own early interest and relative competence as a drummer and also my devastating experiences with drugs and alcohol.

Whereas unlike Keith, I managed to miraculously start getting sober in my later twenties and am now over 29 years clean.

I hope this may add additional personal ballast to the graphic book and enable me to discuss first hand

the awful experience of slipping into problematic and then extreme trouble with drinking.


So, by that means I really do identify with Keith. Obviously, I am in no way comparing myself to him but his story has a special resonance for me.

As I said, it is great to be working on this project and I look forward to the publication in due course.

Also, as I am writing for an artist as well as an audience, the script will have a lot of art direction as well as captioned wording,

thought and speech balloons as well as descriptive text which will be art directing the book along.