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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 31 December 2007
This book is the same as Dear Boy The Life of Keith Moon. Exactly the same, just a different cover and title. Dear Boy is a great book, and so should this one. I am annoyed that this is not explained in the description, as I now have two copies of the same book!
Ho Hum.
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on 26 July 1999
This is one of the best biographies I have read concerning well-known rock stars. Fletcher succeeds where a lot of other biographers fail in that he's a fan but he is also able to be objective. You get the facts here and he destroys a lot of the myths surrounding Moon's escapades. Moon did so much during his life that there is no need to make up stories about him (as a lot of his friends and aquaintences have done). The things he has done are funny, outrageous, infuriating and sad. Fletcher recounts his life in detail. He also writes about Moon's drumming style and attempts to shed some light on what made him one of the most unique and also one of the great drummers in rock and how the Who simply wouldn't be the Who without him. One of my favorite parts of the book is where he gets quotes from other drummers about Moon's style and where he fits among the other great drummers of that era. During the first half of the book it's pretty evenly split on stories about Moon's personal life and the stories about his musical one. As the book progresses, the personal side starts to be discussed a lot more (his addctions, moving to California, etc.). This is in part due to the fact that in the '70s the Who took longer breaks between albums, something Moon had a very hard time coping with. A lot of the stories are funny, but a lot of them are very disturbing and sad (Moon's insecurity about himself, the drug and alcahol addictions, the spousal abuse and the fact he paid a guy to break Ian MacLagan's fingers). Fletcher recounts these details very well and although the book is quite long, it's never boring. Fletcher was able to get many interviews from friends and family and his research into Moon is very professional. This book coud have come across tawdry; instead it comes out great.
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on 3 November 1998
I presume this is the US version of Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon published in Britain September 1998 and which I have read. On that basis here are my thoughts: There is a photograph at the middle of this book which 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. At a second viewing the same expression is of ingratiating apology. This is one of the images of Keith Moon that expose his 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 counter-balance his overphelming insecurities with himself, family and the members of The Who. Tony Fletcher is a fan and details The Who at the centre of Rock'n'Roll history. Keith Moon wrote his own chapter and our author deconstructs the mythologies that give way to 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 they could have altered his course. This is no mean achievement for despite his depth of research there are no direct contributions 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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on 12 April 1999
First of all, I'm a huge fan of the Who. As a youth, I easily identified with their rebellious nature. Even now in my middle-age, I still appreciate the power of their music. "Live at Leeds" never has sounded better! So while I appreciated gaining some insight on how my rock 'n roll heroes were actually human, that they had frailties and insecurities, I was left hoping to learn about how they made such great music. I learned a great deal about how Keith Moon handled himself away from his work, but only got vague descriptions on how he played. Mr. Fletcher, what made Keith Moon a most unique and talented drummer? Perhaps his style defied description. However, don't get me wrong. This is a great book to read -- just because it covers a life that's incomparable to no one. Also, I commend the author on the hard work it must have taken to obtain all the information. He undoubtedly interviewed many sources. I also appreciated his writing which is clear and straight-to-the point.
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on 8 July 1999
A lifelong Who fan, I was looking forward to several nights of engrossing reading. I was not disappointed. This book does a great job painting a picture of the early 60's London music scene that spawned the Who. It also reminds you that Keith was the father of all rock drumming, a true revolutionary. As the book chronicled his descent into alcholism and addiction, I started to find the descriptions of the debauchery repetitive and unnecessarily detailed at times. A 100 page edit would have made for a brisker read. But still, an absolute must for anybody interested in rock drumming, the Who or a fascinating musical pioneer.
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on 6 January 1999
After reading "Full Moon" By Peter "Dougal" Butler, I thought any other book written about Keith Moon would be a rerun of previous published material. I was wrong thinking that!! Tony Fletcher has written a incredible account of Keith Moon's private and public life. Alot more detail into the life of Keith is presented here. I found the book describing in detail the stories that were only mentioned in other books. I felt like I know Keith better after reading this book. I laughed, sighed and even cried for Keith. The pain & loneliness Keith had in his life is described in great detail. The stories come from Keith's family, friends, and business associates. Reading how Keith's family the other WHO members dealt with Keith's death, and seeing how the years after his death effected them was most interesting.Their comments answered alot of my questions I've often thought about. This book answered alot of questions I had about Keith, and his life. I highly recommend it. It will open your eyes as to what it's like to live a rock stars life. And when you finish this book, you'll have a better understanding as to what is really important in one's life.
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on 31 January 1999
What an amazing book this was. I couldn't put it down. Nowhere else is Moon's life so well documented and explained in detail. Before reading this book, I knew who Keith Moon was, but now I really know what kind of person this explosive drummer really was and what he did to revolutionize rock and roll.
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on 12 June 1999
Having grown up in the Sixties in L.A., I grew up with The Who and the stories of Keith Moon`s extraordinary drumming talent and insane lifestyle. This is the kind of book I like - I couldn`t put it down. Fletcher treats his subject fairly; neithor adoring him or exaggerating or sensationalizing. Fetcher paints a vivid picture of life in a rock band and the British music scene at that time - a fascinating array of characters for any reader. Upon finishing this book, I could reexamine my own values and see that fame, money and big time "success" are all hollow without genuine love and friendship in a person`s life. Unfortunately, Keith Moon was one of the most pathetic, lonely, insecure, irresponsible, marginal people to ever walk this planet.
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on 12 March 1999
Thank you Tony for missing me in the crowd.
My pal Moon, above all, was a ever the perfect gent. I have never met anyone with his super human ability to make any everyday event a party. A party with Moon was larger and lasted longer than any I can remember. I honestly tried to have quiet evenings with Moon but despite my best efforts every moment with Moon would somehow become a party.
He would swear that we were going to be good boys but somehow we were always the last men standing. Better men than I were hospitalized, jailed or just passed out trying to keep up with Moon. Those who came under his spell would wind up trying to craft apologies to wives, girlfriends or bosses at 3 in the morning while Moon was instructing his limo driver where the casulties should be dropped off and the address to Moon's next adventure. God I miss him. . .
Tony, I have your book. Give me a couple of weeks and I will file a comment here. . .
lee houskeeper President San Francisco Stories
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on 10 February 1999
I was admittedly skeptical about a bio about a drummer incapable of keeping time to music and whose life's ambition was apparently to be an alcoholic/narcotic omniverore and sociopath. However, this bio is anything but one dimensional and it is vivid description of the London scene and debunks many of the myths about many of his alleged stunts. It is a rich narrative about the British Invasion and the characters around Keith Moon. There are many laugh out loud moments about Moon's practical jokes.
However, where there are moments when Keith's life is decidedly one dimensional, Fletcher provides a detailed portrait
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