How Keith Moon and Oliver Reed Created An Rock n’ Roll Drinking Game

How Keith Moon and Oliver Reed Created An Rock n’ Roll Drinking Game | I Love Classic Rock Videos

The Who live at the Isle of Wight Festival, 1970 - Extazid / Youtube

There’s something about the relationship between rockstars and booze. In general, alcoholic drinks became the lifeblood of these musicians, who would spend long hours performing on stage. Even though it may be true that doing what you love makes any task easier, the fact remains that being a rockstar can be quite strenuous. This is why, musicians opt to try new things to get out of fatigue from constant stress. This means creating a new drinking game for pure satisfaction.

Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, had a wild life that became rock lore. Moreover, Moon’s personality was not the kind to back down from a challenge—even if that challenge came from one of the most famous actors in the world.

The idea to adapt Pete Townshend’s rock opera began circulating about the same time The Who became a mainstream success thanks to the success of Tommy. Although most of the cast was made up of their fellow rock stars like Elton John and Tina Turner, Oliver Reed was brought in to play Tommy’s abusive stepfather.

Moon and Reed, who both liked having a drink in their free time, competed in a friendly drinking game. Reed invited Moon over to his place for a drink and then took him to a bar nearby, where he challenged Moon to a drinking contest. According to Roger Daltrey, who described this incident in an interview with Howard Stern, “Apparently, it went down to the third bottle of Brandy, and Oliver Reed passed out under the table. Then Moon stood up and said, ‘Fuck you, Ollie. I’m going to the pub for a real drink’ because Moon had a pub at the end of his drive.”

In retrospect, Daltrey admits he was concerned that Moon was pushing himself too far when he said: “He obviously had an addictive personality. I’ve never known anyone who would take the amount of drugs and booze that Moonie did. People would take one pill and be high as a kite for a day. He would take a handful of them and be drinking with it too.”