Watch How A Fan Saved Keith Moon’s Performance – So Surreal!
Keith Moon (1947 - 1978) of The Who performs on stage in Paris, 9th September 1972. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
In November 1973, Scot Halpin, a teenager selling tickets for a The Who concert in San Francisco, unexpectedly became the hero of the night. The band’s drummer, Keith Moon, faced nerves and health issues before the show, leading to an erratic drumming performance. In a surprising turn of events, Halpin ended up taking Moon’s place, earning the title “the fan who saved Keith Moon.”
On the evening of their California show, The Who, who were touring in support of their hit album Quadrophenia, ran into a disturbed Moon. Their first American show in two years may have added to Moon’s nervousness, which caused a rocky beginning. Even though Moon used tranquilizers to help him relax, the medications produced unexpected side effects that made Moon’s drumming sluggish.
The Fan’s Bold Move
During “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” Moon collapsed on his drum set, unconscious. Attempts to revive him failed, prompting The Who to consider an alternative. Observing the situation from near the stage, 19-year-old Halpin caught the attention of concert promoter Bill Graham. Graham, sensing an opportunity, asked Halpin if he could play the drums, to which Halpin confidently responded with a “yes.”
When Pete Townshend, the band’s guitarist, asked the crowd if anyone could play the drums, Halpin took the stage. With assurance, he performed a blues jam, “Smoke Stacked Lighting,” smoothly transitioning into “Spoonful.” Halpin played alongside the band until he physically couldn’t continue, leaving an indelible mark as the fan who stepped up to rescue Keith Moon’s concert.