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Thread: Just had my Ass handed to me by Keith Moon

  1. #1
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Just had my Ass handed to me by Keith Moon

    I always liked Keith's playing and style, but never considered him a "great" drummer. Ya know, up there with Peart, Mangini, Portnoy, Minneman, Cobbham.. etc... Just a kind of souped up version of Animal from the Muppet's... Well, I sat down to learn to play the drum part to wont get fooled again.... For my live show.... Got the Keys, Bass and backing Vox's down in Sonar. And started to play the drum part. I was just completely blown away by how complex and imaginative his drumming is. Way beyond anything I could ever hope to emulate. I spent an entire day and finally gave up and decided to just play "like" Moon... Kind of opting for the Muppet version. I put my sad version up side by side with his and I am ashamed of myself for underrating him. I spent about 3 months learning and recording the Drum part to Subdivisions... I did a decent job of it, though hardly perfect. but THIS, would take years
    There is no way for me to ever capture even a tiny fraction of the rhythms going thru Keith Moons head, The guy is just a animal, and the parts are tasty, unique and completely mental. One of the most unique rhythmic minds ever.

    I am afraid I will be playing a totally inferior version of WGFA this new years eve. Its still a great song and I handled the rest of the parts. But that drum part is "M E N T A L"... I will never, ever convince myself I can play a Keith Moon part correctly. This of you who are drummers probably know what I am saying. I carefully studied what he did over and over, each little lick in the song and just could not get any of it right... I am not a great drummer, but Keith Moon has completely kicked my ass forever.

    ....RESPECT....
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

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    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I'm not a musician, but I've heard from various sources that some guitar parts that SOUND simple are anything but, once you try to play them. It's the skill of the performer that makes them sound simple.

    Imagine drums are the same.

  3. #3
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    I have never heard anybody that could copy Keith Moon.
    He was definetely a natural - one of a kind. Most tracks on Tommy and Live at Leeds are just incredible.


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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    btw


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    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Its not anything like learning a Tom Sawyer, or Subdivisions where parts are soundly constructed. Its just an insane stream of consciousness that you cant follow because what's down is up and what up is sideways... I am convinced If you tried to score this out it would send into a bout of insanity. Nothing terribly hard, some really quick intricate patterns but set in a random kind of musical brilliance... It blows me away the he was probably stoned drunk while recording this. Amazing and yet... random. What I thought was sloppy is just - incredibly brilliant. doesn't miss a beat. I wonder if he did any punch in's - I dont imagine there is much documentary information on that particular recording. It did prompt me to watch the documentary on the history of the Who.... But they dont give enough attention to his playing, and kind of stuck to his carefree attitude about taking anything he was handed. Kind of a sad semi-tribute to a truly amazing player. I wonder how other drummers would comment on his skills. I have never really heard anyone like him. The later drummers in the Who, do they really understand what they were tasked with? Did they play what he played, or just something kind of like it? I can't imagine how they would ever keep up.

    Neil Peart really loved Keith Moon, but he plays absolutely nothing like him. in fact I would say he plays exactly opposite of Keith. Neils playing was an exact science of carefully constructed parts that could be exactly played the same every time. Amazing in its precision and thoughtfulness. - Its musicality. Keith on the other hand was a complete train wreck, but brilliantly comprised of total entropy at full speed. I wonder how closely he played his parts once they were recorded, or was he just eclectic like that all the time? I'd love to ask Neil about how he reconciles his love for Moon's playing and his own methods.. I finally know what I would ask him if I ever met him. I wonder if it would be something he wouldn't mind talking about.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
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  6. #6
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    Townsend used to bemoan that he could never get Keith to play the same thing the same way twice.

    For myself, few if any have gone straight to my adrenals the way Keith Moon did.
    Perhaps finding the happy medium is harder than we know.

  7. #7
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    I cant imagine to more different drummers, personalities & style, than Bruford & Moon, and Bruford has never mentioned Moon, not even in his speeches about drumming.
    Bruford was in Copenhagen some time ago, talking about drumming, where he basicly divided the drummers he talked about (with examples) in 2 groups, those who composes while they play and those who plays what is needed to the letter. So I asked him what he thought of Moon. But he did'nt say much, just smiled and lumped Moon in the first group.

    This is not a very interesting The Who tune, but Moon is spectacular here


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    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Bruford once said in an interview that Moon would have been the perfect drummer for "Indiscipline".

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Keith Moon ( The Who ) - biography


  10. #10
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    Andy Summers is the same with guitar. The Police is one of my favorite bands and his stuff sounds deceptively simple. Coming from a deep background of playing jazz, he knows all of the obnoxious chords and created some parts that take a bit more effort to learn than you'd think.

  11. #11
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I always liked Keith's playing and style, but never considered him a "great" drummer. Ya know, up there with Peart, Mangini, Portnoy, Minneman, Cobbham.. etc... Just a kind of souped up version of Animal from the Muppet's... Well, I sat down to learn to play the drum part to wont get fooled again.... For my live show.... Got the Keys, Bass and backing Vox's down in Sonar. And started to play the drum part. I was just completely blown away by how complex and imaginative his drumming is. Way beyond anything I could ever hope to emulate. I spent an entire day and finally gave up and decided to just play "like" Moon... Kind of opting for the Muppet version. I put my sad version up side by side with his and I am ashamed of myself for underrating him. I spent about 3 months learning and recording the Drum part to Subdivisions... I did a decent job of it, though hardly perfect. but THIS, would take years
    There is no way for me to ever capture even a tiny fraction of the rhythms going thru Keith Moons head, The guy is just a animal, and the parts are tasty, unique and completely mental. One of the most unique rhythmic minds ever.

    I am afraid I will be playing a totally inferior version of WGFA this new years eve. Its still a great song and I handled the rest of the parts. But that drum part is "M E N T A L"... I will never, ever convince myself I can play a Keith Moon part correctly. This of you who are drummers probably know what I am saying. I carefully studied what he did over and over, each little lick in the song and just could not get any of it right... I am not a great drummer, but Keith Moon has completely kicked my ass forever.

    ....RESPECT....
    You'll have a similar experience trying to figure out Ginger Baker's drumming.

    Quote Originally Posted by frinspar View Post
    Andy Summers is the same with guitar. The Police is one of my favorite bands and his stuff sounds deceptively simple. Coming from a deep background of playing jazz, he knows all of the obnoxious chords and created some parts that take a bit more effort to learn than you'd think.
    All 3 are great musicians...Stewart and Gordon (Sting) included. BTW: I don't know this for sure, but I suspect Sting went by Sting because Gordon Sumner is too similar to Andy Summers.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    I agree with the view that Moon is purely a natural and that, as per the sighted Townsend quote, he would probably struggle playing most parts the same way twice. Call me crazy, but his style and physicality remind me in a way of Chris Cutler with the looping arms and seemingly superfluous motion etc.

    Personally after listening to Won't Get Fooled Again, I don't see a lot that is particularly technically challenging other than maybe the emphasis and subtle variation, but maybe that's because I'm a shit drummer. Inconsistency (non-pejoratively speaking) is by definition hard to reproduce. Other than that, I'm more impressed by Chris Cutler's drumming and would have a much harder time trying to reproduce his parts on any number of Henry Cow, Art Bears, Cassiber etc. etc. tunes he has graced over the years. Cutler seems like one of those drummers who always seems to be doing something different from moment to moment. Maybe I'm wrong about all that and the drummer experts will tell me so.

  13. #13
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Moon was a weirdly wired, wonderful one-off.

    There will never be another like him.

    The Who are definitely my favorite British 60s band and a lot of it is due to Keith, who I just find is completely entrancing, especially in the period of 1965-70, although there are still highlights post 1970...
    Steve F.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    I agree with the view that Moon is purely a natural and that, as per the sighted Townsend quote, he would probably struggle playing most parts the same way twice. Call me crazy, but his style and physicality remind me in a way of Chris Cutler with the looping arms and seemingly superfluous motion.
    Youíre NOT crazy.

    What is the only time that Cutler emulates another drummer and what drummer is he emulating??

    Oh, yeah....thatís right....

    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

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    ^^^ Well I’ll be darned! I never made the connection, but yes I hear it now! Thanks.

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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    ^^^ Well I’ll be darned! I never made the connection, but yes I hear it now! Thanks.
    You never made the connection???? !!!!!!!! . . .

    Oh, my god. It’s SO apparent!!!!!!!!!
    Steve F.

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    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  17. #17
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    For 40 years I’ve been listening to that song and waiting (and waiting) for Daggie to sing, “They’re all WASTED!”
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    I don't know this for sure, but I suspect Sting went by Sting because Gordon Sumner is too similar to Andy Summers.
    Wikipedia has a different story.
    He gained his nickname after his habit of wearing a black and yellow sweater with hooped stripes with the Phoenix Jazzmen. Bandleader Gordon Solomon thought he looked like a bee (or according to Sting himself, "they thought I looked like a wasp"), which prompted the name "Sting".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    You never made the connection???? !!!!!!!! . . .

    Oh, my god. Itís SO apparent!!!!!!!!!
    Yeah I know, same 3-chord piano lead in. Pretty stinkiní apparent. Thanks for making me feel stupid (again).

  20. #20
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    it wasnt really the individual parts that had me so flustered in the song, it was how he so fluidly came up with those tasty little tidbits one after another. And he would just roll from one into another every one of the parts different, and seemingly never really starting on 1 and ending on 4 (in a 4/4 song) I am just amazed that he could keep that up for the entire song. And then I listened to the entire album and realized he does it constantly. It's just how he played. Maybe I am just not that observant, because I've listened to the Who for virtually my entire life, but this was really my first attempt to try to emulate, or keep up with what he was doing. I had the track nailed down with a MIDI sync track, and it fluctuates here and there, but when I compared what I thought I was playing from memory, and then I would hear the real track, I realized that I was dealing with something completely out of my element. Like I say, I like to play stuff like it was originally done - like with learning Subdivisions... Took me a long time and a lot of punches to get even remotely close to the original, but I could figure out the constructed parts. Here its just all over the place, and what I thought was the part was nothing like the real thing. It was just so unexpected. I would really like to know how many punches in and redo's he went through, because it sounds like just one take. Obviously they must have had to work out some parts, but it sure seems to just flow like a stream of consciousness.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    ...it sure seems to just flow like a stream of consciousness.
    I would guess that's pretty much what it is and that Keith himself would struggle to reproduce it exactly. Aren't there live renditions to provide evidence?

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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Wikipedia has a different story.
    Well, I'll bee damned!
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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