Known for playing pranks and crazy part antics, the late Keith Moon, drummer for British rock ‘n’ roll band The Who, undoubtedly lived up to his nickname “Moon the Loon.”
One of Moon’s most memorable outrageous party escapades involved a classic Lincoln Continental sinking to the bottom of Holiday Inn swimming pool on the drummer’s 21st birthday. But did this actually happen, or even happen the way Moon told the story?
In 1972, Moon sat down with Rolling Stone to tell the story of the booze-fueled birthday bash after playing a show:
“I was 21 and they started giving me presents,” Moon said. “Somebody gave me a portable bar and somebody else the portable booze. I’d started drinking about ten o’clock in the morning and I can’t remember the show.
“Then the record company’s ‘ad booked a big room in the ‘otel, one of the conference rooms, for a party. As the hours went on, it got louder and louder, and everybody started getting well out their minds, well stoned.
“The pool was the obvious target. Everybody started jumping in the pool with their clothes on.”
As one can only imagine, the party escalated with a birthday cake food fight resulting in icing everywhere and one very anger hotel manager dialing the sheriff’s office.
“By the time the sheriff came in I was standing there in my underpants,” Moon said. “I ran out, jumped into the first car I came to, which was a brand new Lincoln Continental. It was parked on a slight hill and when I took the handbrake off, it started to roll and it smashed straight through this pool surround and the whole Lincoln Continental went into the ‘oliday Inn swimming pool, with me in it.”
Moon escaped the sinking Lincoln and headed back to the party.
“So I went back to the party, streaming water, still in me underpants. The first person I see is the sheriff,” Moon reported. “I started to leg it out the door, and I slipped on a piece of marzipan and fell flat on me face and knocked out me tooth.”
Moon said he spent the rest of the night, first in a dentist’s chair and then in jail – but is this what really happened?
According to MusicRadar and fellow party-goers, Moon’s retelling of the event might be a bit dramatized.
Barry Whitwam, the drummer for the band Herman’s Hermits, was at the party. “There was no car in the pool, only all the pool tables and chairs, and Keith never came back dripping water,” Whitwam is quoted.”
Another Herman’s Hermits bandmate, singer, Peter Noone added, “That never happened. He would tell stories. He just forgot what happened.”
Even Moon’s bandmate John Entwistle denies the Lincoln story: “He never drove a car into the swimming pool. He couldn’t even drive.”
Whether the Lincoln Continental was in the pool or not, it makes for one ridiculous story.
You can read Mood’s full interview with Rolling Stone in 1972 here.