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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Couldn't Make It Up ...
"Dear Boy" is many kinds of a book. Whilst it is of course a rock biography, it is also by turns a comedy, a romance, psychoanalysis and probably most of all, a tragedy.
Since first hearing the Who as a Mod in the 1980s during the death of the youth cult's revival that began in 1979, I have been fascinated with the life of the band that have been important for...
Published on 28 Jan 2006 by Green Man Music

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice book, shame about the e-edition
The reason I have only given this otherwise good book only two stars is the lamentable lack of proof-reading of the e-edition. We pay almost as much for an e-book as we do for a hard copy even though the publisher is saved the cost of printing and distribution. The least we should expect is that the publisher will give the e-book a quick read through to pick up the...
Published on 19 Jun 2011 by Paul Ansell


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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Couldn't Make It Up ..., 28 Jan 2006
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"Dear Boy" is many kinds of a book. Whilst it is of course a rock biography, it is also by turns a comedy, a romance, psychoanalysis and probably most of all, a tragedy.
Since first hearing the Who as a Mod in the 1980s during the death of the youth cult's revival that began in 1979, I have been fascinated with the life of the band that have been important for so many followers of music, mod and rocker alike. "Dear Boy" is the greatest insight into Keith - and in fact The Who - since Barnes' "Before I Get Old".
In "Dear Boy", Fletcher begins with Keith's childhood, where even then it was wondered if he suffered with some form of hyperactivity. Insights range from his life at home with his mild-mannered parents, divided from them by a curtain spanning the living-room behind which he played his drums; to his practical jokes on the streets which were the forerunner of some of his later, more famous antics.
The book follows his musical career from the Beachcombers (apparently the happiest time of his life) to The Who. It reveals the complex relationships he shared with the other band members. His practical joking he shared with John Entwistle (they bought a car together containing hidden speakers so they could alarm the public with their announcements), his destructiveness he shared with Pete Townshend (jointly responsible for the hotel smashing escapades but always happy to leave Keith with all the credit), and his see-saw relationship with Roger Daltrey, who was once almost thrown out of the band for beating Keith up whilst on tour.
But the true tragedy of his life is revealed through his friends and family. Keith, desperate to be wanted and loved, tried to be liked by everyone. As his fame grew so did his bizarre behaviour - fuelled by an increasing alcohol and drug habit - in an attempt to become even more popular. All the time however there was a frustrated and depressed man underneath it. Plagued by the death of his one-time minder for which he held himself personally responsible, the break up of his first marriage and his addiction to mind-altering substances, Keith often tried many things to rid himself of his demons - from medication to drying-out clinics and even to an unusual form of exorcism.
Fletcher writes with a genuine love and sympathy for Keith, but also with boldness and honesty, refusing to shy away from the darker side of his nature, usually manifesting itself at home. No stone is left unturned (and no hotel, it seems, is left unsmashed) as he tries hard to get inside the mind of the world's most famous drummer and to the root of his problems - in fact in my opinion trying harder than many of the quacks Keith asked help from during his life.
Fletcher adds an extra dimensions to the things commonly known. For example, I knew Keith had trashed hotels; but I had no idea of the scale of it, the sheer level of destruction that was caused. I've seen photos of Keith often dressed up as Hitler or a Jester - but I had no idea he would actually take on this persona, driving his family crazy by remaining in costume and in character for days on end.
It's a huge book; however due to its well-written and easy style, it didn't take me long to get through it. Very much recommended.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book that explodes some Keith Moon myths, 21 July 2001
By 
Miss Eve Frazer (Solihull, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon (Paperback)
I have always been a massive 'Who' fan and especially in awe of Keith Moon. This book totally justifies why Keith was the best drummer this planet has ever had. However, it is not just a one sided account and explores Keith's tempramental side as well. It isn't until you finish this book that you realise, had Keith been alive today it would probably have been recognised that he had some very serious mental problems that he masked so efficiently by being 'Moon the Loon'. If you want to read a really good unbiased account of Keith's life, buy this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavens! Fletcher's only gone and written a masterpiece., 23 July 2000
By A Customer
'How do you capture an exploding time bomb?' Indeed, Tony Fletcher set about the task, and where most would have given up half way through, Fletcher carried on, much to his own pains he reveals late on in the book. The life of Keith Moon was (and still is) a life full of bent truths, hyperactivity and constant motion. The combination of the three means that the task Fletcher set about doing was never going to be easy. Much to his credit, he has not only taken the task by the throat, but he has also got it under control. Such an example is where, after thirty five years of rock myth about Keith's audition with the Who being at a gig where the bands normal drummer was kicked out, he reveals it to much more orthadox. Keith Moon had a proper audition with the Who. Indeed, this is a common theme through out the book. Tony Fletcher upends myths and tales and manages, somehow, to drag the truth out of the usually overworked (for humoristic effect) stories. When Fletcher does tell the truth is often when you don't want to believe it, but in reading the high standing of the preceeding pages you do. Tales of Moon's treatment of wife Kim and girlfriend Annete can only be true given that the possibility ill mental health is raised (and backed up with evidence) in the book. In researching the book, Tony Fletcher flew all over the world, and interviewed those closest to Moon, including his sister, his wife, the Small Faces Ian Mclagen and Kenny Jones, his minder Peter Butler,the list goes on. Speaking as a person who, before reading this book, wasn't really aware of the Who or Keith Moon, I view it as the best possible way to be introduced to them all. Also speaking as someone of nineteen years of age, this book makes me wish Moon was still alive so there would exist the slightest chance of meeting the man himself.
As Keith probably would have put it, nice one, dear boy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening..., 14 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon (Paperback)
Arguably the best bio ever written about one of the characters in rock history. To say The Who, and more importantly, Keith Moon had no small influence on the formation of Rock and Roll during the 60's and 70's is like saying water isn't that important to marine life.
Throughout his life, Keith never, ever slowed down, having only two speeds; full on and full off. A man that took "living life to the full" as an instruction, rather than a figure of speech. This man scared Oliver Reed for goodness sake.
If you can only read one more book in your life time, make this it. When Keith dies it is probably the biggest irony that ever occurred. If it wasn't true, you laugh.
Read it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best music book you will ever read., 28 Mar 2007
By 
AK 1957-05 (Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a weighty tome that you will breeze through like an airport potboiler. Particularly if you love The Who and their music - the author (despite some curmudgeonly feedback from the participants) appears to get under the skin of the band and lets us know what it must have been like to have been there.

The main feeling we're left with after reading this book is intense sorrow - Moon was a sensitive, gentle youth with an inexplicable predilection for violence and mayhem. There is little or no reference to that violence being directed against men - women (occasionally) and property are the targets of his excess of energy.

Perhaps the most revealing line in the book for me was when a neighbour describes Moon goose-stepping, alone, in his Nazi regalia on the beach in California early in the morning. We realise that the skylarking was for his own amusement, rather than for the benefit of onlookers.

Your heart goes out to the women in his life, including his daughter, who stuck with him through what seems to be unbearable behaviour at times. You really do feel like slapping him as one pointless, destructive prank follows another (and the author does have a tendency to chuckle along sometimes). When the end comes, it's not dealt with like some dramatic soap opera - the details are laid out plainly and without sensation. It's all the more heartbreaking for being so prosaic. Little touches, like the description of Daltrey crying throughout Moon's service, remain in the mind long after you put this book down.

A terrific read, one that will change your perception of Keith Moon.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest drummers, 28 July 2005
By 
J H Dickinson (Bridgend, S Wales United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is a must read for any fan of sixties music. Absolutely superb, full of interesting tit-bits and infomation. Writted as a biography should be written. Others take note. Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the Sides of the Moon, 3 Nov 1998
By A Customer
There is a photograph in the middle of this book that shows Keith Moon sitting by a picture frame that surrounds a champagne bottle embedded in a wall. He is wearing an impish, endearing grin that celebrates his turning excess into art. Except that he had originally thrown the bottle at his wife Kim. When you look again his expression is of ingratiating apology. This is just one of the images that expose Keith Moon's many conflicts and contradictions. A unique, innovative talent who, incredibly, could sometimes forget how to drum. The extremes of his behaviour seem to be an elaborate ruse to counterbalance his overphelming insecurities with himself, family and members of The Who. Tony Fletcher is a fan and details The Who's position at the centre of Rock'n'Roll history. Keith Moon wrote his own chapter, yet our author carefully deconstructs the mythologies that give way to more complex layers for yet more exploration. He finds a balance between the enduring love and despair of those who were touched by Keith Moon and thought that somehow they could have altered his course. This is no mean achievement for despite his depth of research there is no direct contribution from Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, or Keith's Mother, Kathleen Moon. Few others have attempted such an endevour in the twenty years since Keith Moon's death and Tony Fletcher is to be credited with capturing the essence of a man who, in his short life, could not be contained. I was enthralled
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark side of the moon, 9 April 2003
By 
Sam Kongslie "rdrums4real" (Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon (Paperback)
A massive piece of work. Finally it's here for the diehard Who fans. I've waited years for a book like this, and now we have the story of rock's greatest drummer (I don't care what people say; he reinvented drummers). Saddening to read how bad he treated his family (his parents especially) and hilarious to read how he turned Swinging London upside down.
Rockstars today think they live on the edge....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Side Of The Moon, 24 Mar 2013
By 
Lutz Svensson (Deptford, London, UK.) - See all my reviews
He punched his missus and neglected his kids. He stole, he lied, he cheated. He let down everyone around him, both professionally and personally, poisoning every relationship he touched. He drank. He drove. He kept illegal firearms and occasionally took potshots at his loved ones. He wasn't the Messiah; he was a very naughty boy.

History remembers him as 'Moon The Loon'. Maybe if he'd been born Keith Munt, it would remember him more accurately.

Tony Fletcher's excellent biography goes some way to setting history straight. Essential reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice book, shame about the e-edition, 19 Jun 2011
By 
Paul Ansell (Northampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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The reason I have only given this otherwise good book only two stars is the lamentable lack of proof-reading of the e-edition. We pay almost as much for an e-book as we do for a hard copy even though the publisher is saved the cost of printing and distribution. The least we should expect is that the publisher will give the e-book a quick read through to pick up the errors that the optical character recognition software has produced. It's just not good enough.
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Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon
Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon by Tony Fletcher (Paperback - Sep 1999)
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