Keith Moon Used To Babysit His Future Replacement In The Who
The Who live at the Isle of Wight Festival, 1970 - Extazid / Youtube
It’s difficult to replace someone with such a legendary impact in the rock and roll industry. In the name of business and legacy, sometimes bands opt to replace their deceased members with family members; a tradition that’s long been done. However, there are certain instances as well where bands do not merely rely on the members’ family names; instead, they focus on talent and capacity to fill in the ginormous shoes that have been left. For Keith Moon, the greatest drummer from The Who, that’s exactly the case for his drummer replacement.
Moon’s death on September 7, 1978, was one of the biggest losses in the history of music. The media announced that Moon took 30 prescription pills which led to his overdose. The Who, his family, his contemporaries, and the whole world, in general, mourned over the death of the legend.
Zak Starkey, the son of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, was the obvious choice when the time came to replace Keith Moon in the band, years later. As it turned out, Zak and “Uncle Keith” had a long history of friendship dating back decades before Zak ever picked up a drum set. Around 10 years old, Zak played The Who’s compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy he found in his parent’s basement. Moon’s drumming blew the young Starr’s mind that he decided to switch instruments right after that (Zak was inclined to play guitar before).
“I found a Who record in my parents’ record collection, and I made this connection between the guy on the cover and a guy that was always ‘round at our house,” Zak said in an interview. “This guy used to come and hang out with me and my brother and play Monopoly and feed the hamsters and stuff like that.” What are the odds of that happening?
Moon was a close friend of Ringo, and would often visit the latter’s house to hang out. Zak and his hero were close buds as well, to the point that Moon even gifted the young boy his first-ever drum set: a white and gold Premier drum kit.
It took a long time after Keith Moon’s death before Zak Starkey took his place on the drum stool of his idol. In 1996, he joined The Who as their official drummer and has been with them since then.