The Real Events Of The Night Keith Moon Died

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Keith Moon, the wild and charismatic drummer of The Who, lived a life that was just as legendary as the music he helped create. But it was on the night of September 7, 1978, that his incredible journey came to a sudden and tragic end.

Keith Moon was not just a rock star; he was a complex individual with a private side that few got to see. Behind the rock ‘n’ roll facade was a son, a brother, a father, and a man grappling with his own insecurities. He was known for his manic drumming and daredevil antics on and off the stage, living life in the fast lane with no thought for the consequences. It was this version of Keith Moon that ultimately led to his untimely demise.

In the months leading up to that fateful night, The Who had released their album “Who Are You,” their first in three years.

However, Moon’s excessive drinking and drug use had taken a toll on his performance and appearance. His drumming had become erratic, and he was asked to pose strategically for the album cover to hide his changing physique. The band was in no condition to tour, leaving Moon anxious and depressed.

To combat his alcoholism, Moon had been prescribed Heminevrin, a powerful sedative, by Harley Street physician Dr. Geoffrey Dymond. While the medication helped curb his alcohol cravings, it often left him in a docile and forgetful state. Moon, determined to change his ways, had cut back on alcohol in the days leading up to his death.

On September 6, 1978, Paul McCartney hosted a party at Peppermint Park in Covent Garden to celebrate Buddy Holly’s 42nd birthday. McCartney had obtained the rights to Holly’s song publishing, and a biopic titled “The Buddy Holly Story” was premiering that evening.

Initially, Moon expressed reluctance about attending the party, but he changed his mind when his girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, insisted on going. Moon called his dealer, who delivered cocaine to the event. Surprisingly, Moon showed restraint at the party, refraining from excessive drinking, which was seen as progress considering his past behavior.


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Guests at the party, including Paul and Linda McCartney, David Frost, and Kenney Jones, noted that Moon appeared to be in good spirits and surprisingly sober.

He even told some friends that he planned to marry Annette, a proposal that never came to fruition.

After the party, Moon and Annette attended the midnight premiere of “The Buddy Holly Story” at the Odeon in Leicester Square. Moon appeared restless throughout the film and insisted on leaving after just an hour. Back at their flat in Mayfair, London, Moon told Annette he was hungry, and she cooked him lamb cutlets, his favorite meal. After eating, they settled in bed to watch the camp horror film “The Abominable Doctor Phibes.”

According to Annette, Moon took his usual glass of water and a bucket of pills before falling asleep around 4 a.m. Unbeknownst to Annette, Keith had been exceeding his prescribed dose of Heminevrin. When she woke up at 3:40 p.m. and checked on him, she found him lying lifeless on the bed.

Panicked, Annette called Dr. Dymond, who then summoned an ambulance. Sadly, it was too late. Keith Moon had already passed away, officially pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m. at Middlesex Hospital.

The news of Moon’s tragic death reached his bandmates, with Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, and John Entwistle all learning of the loss.

John Entwistle, usually stoic in public, broke down in tears upon hearing the news, showcasing the deep bond they shared.

The official cause of death was listed as a “Clomethiazole (Heminevrin) overdose, self-administered but no evidence of intention. Open verdict.” It was later revealed that Moon had 26 undissolved Heminevrin tablets in his stomach at the time of his death.

Keith Moon’s passing shocked many, as they had witnessed him attempting to rein in his excessive behavior. Unbeknownst to them, the prescription drugs he was taking, in large quantities, were silently taking their toll. At Moon’s funeral, Roger Daltrey expressed his disbelief, half-expecting Keith to spring from the coffin, declaring it all a joke. Sadly, it was not a joke, and rock’s greatest drummer had left us at the tender age of 32.