The day Keith Moon was charged with murder

Keith Moon

Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and the pursuit of money in music have closely linked it to crime and scandal. You can’t get through an awards show without some sort of quarrel breaking out. Stories of singers involved in or guilty of murder have littered the history of pop culture. Keith Moon‘s unpredictable conduct was always a recipe for disaster.

Pete Townshend once told a story. “Keith Moon, God rest his soul, once drove his car through the glass doors of a hotel. While driving all the way up to the reception desk, he got out and asked for the key to his room.” This should have been a warning sign that ‘antics’ were going a bit too far. In current times, this appears incongruous with cancel culture. Working to place the phrase in a more favorable light – but back in the rock ‘n’ roll period, this was, sadly, tolerated.

As a result, documentation well-captures Keith Moon’s highwire acts. In fact, he nearly killed himself when he took an unplanned helicopter ride to Oliver Reed’s house. Only for Reed to try to shoot the surprise chopper out of the sky with a shotgun while standing on his roof in nothing but a bathrobe. His life would also serve as an example of how the music industry’s sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll mentality can go too far.

A gang of local skinheads barricaded Moon’s car. They took issue with his bright actions following a night in a pub in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, in 1970. Moon’s chauffeur, Neil Boland, left the vehicle to attempt to calm things down. But Keith Moon stayed inside. Later, terrified that the baying throng might assault him, the drummer climbed behind the wheel and shoved the car past the crowd. Despite being drunk and without a license or insurance, he went out

However, everyone in the car was unaware that Boland had become stuck under the vehicle as he drove forward. Moon drove away, pulling Boland along the street, who later died that night in the hospital.

Moon was first charged with Boland’s death as well as multiple traffic violations. He was eventually exonerated since the death was ruled unintentional, but he was nonetheless found guilty of the driving offenses. In court papers, the judge stated, “You had no choice but to act the way you did, and no moral culpability is attached to you.”

It was a devastating episode in Moon’s brief life. It’s the episode that would haunt him till his death at the all-too-young age of 32. Looking back over 50 years, the occurrence regrettably fits his volatile career. Looking devoid of caution and a life interrupted by tragedy.

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