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Who are You??? That time Keith Moon OD’d onstage and was replaced by a member of the audience

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It’s like a Boy’s Own story. You’re at a concert with your best friend, watching your favorite band, when the drummer collapses on stage. The call goes out, “Is there a drummer in the house?” Next thing you know, your buddy has pushed you into the spotlight and there you are playing the drums with your rock star heroes.

This actually happened to one Scot Halpin when he turned up to see his favorite band The Who open their Quadrophenia tour at the 14,000 seater Cow Palace in Daly City, San Francisco, back in November of 1973. Halpin and his buddy arrived twelve hours before the concert was set to begin. They wanted to ensure they had the best seats in the house up near the front of the stage. This was to prove fortuitous for both Halpin and for the band themselves, for an hour into The Who’s gig—during “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in fact—Keith Moon passed out at his drums and was carried off the stage.

The house lights came up. Guitarist Pete Townshend announced:

“We’re just gonna revive our drummer by punching him in the stomach. He’s out cold. I think he’s gone and eaten something he shouldn’t have eaten. It’s your foreign food. The horrible truth is that without him, we aren’t a group.”

There was a thirty-minute intermission while Moon was revived backstage with “a cold shower.” The Who returned to the stage and resumed playing. But not for long. Moon collapsed again and this time he he could not be revived so easily.
 
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Moon the Loon.
 
It was later discovered what had actually transpired: Moon had ingested a massive quantity of veterinary tranquilizers, which he then washed down with his customary bottle or two of brandy. The rest of the band: Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle carried on performing—Daltrey filling-in for Keith’s drums with a tambourine. It wasn’t exactly working. Townshend once more stepped toward the mic and asked:

“Can anybody play the drums? I mean someone good!”

This was the moment when Halpin’s buddy started yelling at the stage crew that yes, his friend was a drummer and boy could he play. Which was true up to a point. Halpin could play but was out of practice as he hadn’t picked up his sticks in nearly a year.

What happened next surprised both band and audience and has become the stuff of legend. Concert promoter, Bill Graham approached Halpin and pulled him up onto the stage.

“Graham just looked at me and said, ‘Can you do it?’ And I said ‘Yes,’ straight out. Townshend and Daltrey look around and they’re as surprised as I am, because Graham put me up there.”

A roadie then gave Halpin a shot of Moon’s brandy.

“Then I got really focused, and Townshend said to me, ‘I’m going to lead you. I’m going to cue you.’”

Townshend introduced him simply as “Scot” and launched into a couple of blues standards “Smokestack Lightning” and “Spoonful.” Halpin acquitted himself well. He kept good time and followed Townshend’s lead. Next up was the Who’s “Naked Eye” which proved far more tricky with its contrasting tempos. Halpin kept his cool and managed a steady beat throughout.
 
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Scot Halpin fills for Moon with The Who.
 
It was the band’s last number. Halpin deservedly took his bow alongside Townshend, Daltrey and Entwistle. Backstage they thanked “...the skinny kid from the audience for stepping to the plate” but who “didn’t hang around long after the show.”

“They were very angry with Keith and sort of fighting among themselves,” Halpin said. “It was the opening date on their ‘Quadrophenia’ tour, and they were saying, ‘Why couldn’t he wait until after the show (if he wanted to get high)?”

Daltrey, who’d begun drinking Jack Daniels from the bottle at that point, told the substitute they’d pay him $1,000 for his efforts, and a roadie gave him a tour jacket on the spot. “Then everyone split,” Halpin said. “My friend and I both had long drives ahead of us, so we loaded up on all the free food that was put out for the band, and we both headed for home.”

In the meantime, someone stole the tour jacket that Halpin had just received as a gift.

Halpin received favorable mention in the next day’s Chronicle review. He received a nice letter from the band but no money - not that it mattered.

The event was commemorated by Rolling Stone magazine who honored Halpin with “Pick-Up Player of the Year 1973.”  Interviewed at the time, Halpin praised The Who’s stamina, saying:

“I only played three numbers and I was dead.”

More on the night Moon the Loon was replaced by a member of the audience, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Who: Perform the best live version of ‘Tommy’ at Tanglewood 1970

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The Who give one of the best live performances of Tommy at Tanglewood, Lenox, Massachusetts, July 7th, 1970.

If anyone wants to know what The Who were like at their best, then they need only take a look at the talent, passion and energy of these 4 exceptional, young musicians, who together make this an incredible and unforgettable concert.

Track Listing

01.“Heaven and Hell”
02. “I Can’t Explain”
03. “Water”
04. “I Don’t Even Know Myself”
05. “Young Man Blues”
06. “Overture”
07. “It’s a Boy”
08. “1921”
09. “Amazing Journey”
10. “Sparks”
11. “Eyesight to the Blind”
12. “Christmas”
13. “The Acid Queen”
14. “Pinball Wizard”
15. “Do You Think It’s Alright?”
16. “Fiddle About”
17. “Tommy Can You Hear Me?”
18. “There’s a Doctor”
19. “Go to the Mirror!”
20. “Smash the Mirror”
21. “Miracle Cure”
22. “I’m Free”
23. “Tommy’s Holiday Camp”
24. “We’re Not Gonna Take It”
25. “See Me, Feel Me”
26. “My Generation”
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Rare clip of John Entwistle on British TV 1973
07.28.2011
03:14 am

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
John Entwistle
Old Grey Whistle Test


 
Mick Stadium has uploaded another super rare clip to his Youtube channel: John Entwistle on the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1973. I may be wrong, but this seems to be the first time it has appeared on the Interweb.

1973’s “Rigor Mortis Sets In” was John Entwistle’s third solo release. LP featured classic covers, new versions of Entwistle songs and then-new recordings.
LP was recorded in less than three weeks and cost only $14,000 to make (with nearly a third of the total cost spent on liquor.)

Sounds like a better-than-average Who song.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Who’s Next? Scot Halpin the drummer who filled in for Keith Moon in 1973

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It’s a Boy’s Own Adventure Story moment. You’re at a concert with your best pal, watching your favorite band, when the drummer collapses on stage. The call goes out, “Is there a drummer in the house?” Next thing you know, your buddy has pushed you into the spotlight and there you are playing the drums with your heroes.

Well this is kind of how it went for Scot Halpin when he turned up to see his favorite band The Who open their Quadrophenia tour at the 14,000 seater Cow Palace in Daly City, San Francisco, in November 1973. Halpin and his companion arrived 12 hours before the concert began to ensure they would have good seats. They found seats up near the front of the stage, which was fortuitous for both Halpin and the band, as an hour into the gig, drummer Keith Moon passed out and was carted off stage.

The house lights came up, and a thirty minute intermission followed, while Moon was revived backstage with “a cold shower”. The Who returned to the stage, and started performing, but once again Moon collapsed - this time for good. It later transpired that Moon the Loon had ingested massive quantities of animal tranquilizers, which he had washed down with his usual bottle or two of brandy. His three band mates, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle carried on, performing their next number “See Me, Feel Me”, with Daltrey filling-in for Keith’s drums on tambourine, before Townshend asked the audience:

“Can anybody play the drums? I mean someone good!”

It was at this moment Halpin’s companion started yelling at the stage crew that his friend could play. What he omitted to say, was that Halpin was slightly out of practice, as it was nearly a year since he had played. What happened next surprised both band and audience, and has become the stuff of legend, when concert promoter, Bill Graham approached Halpin and pulled him up onto the stage.

“Graham just looked at me and said, ‘Can you do it?’ And I said ‘Yes,“‘straight out. Townshend and Daltrey look around and they’re as surprised as I am, because Graham put me up there.”

A roadie then gave Halpin a shot of Moon’s brandy.

“Then I got really focused, and Townshend said to me, ‘I’m going to lead you. I’m going to cue you.’”

Townshend introduced him as “Scot”, and went straight into a couple of Blues standards, “Smoke Stack Lightning” and “Spoonful”. Halpin acquitted himself, kept good time and followed Townhend’s lead. Next up was The Who’s “Naked Eye”, which proved far more tricksy with its contrasting tempos. However, Halpin kept his cool and managed a steady beat throughout.

It was the band’s last number and Halpin deservedly then took his bow alongside Townshend, Daltrey and Entwistle. Backstage the band thanked:

...the skinny kid from the audience for stepping to the plate but didn’t hang around long after the show.

“They were very angry with Keith and sort of fighting among themselves,” Halpin said. “It was the opening date on their ‘Quadrophenia’ tour, and they were saying, ‘Why couldn’t he wait until after the show (if he wanted to get high)?”

Daltry, who’d begun drinking Jack Daniels from the bottle at that point, told the substitute they’d pay him $1,000 for his efforts, and a roadie gave him a tour jacket on the spot. “Then everyone split,” Halpin said. “My friend and I both had long drives ahead of us, so we loaded up on all the free food that was put out for the band, and we both headed for home.”

In the meantime, someone stole the tour jacket that Halpin had just received as a gift.

Halpin received favorable mention in the next day’s Chronicle review. He received a nice letter from the band but no money - not that it mattered.

However, the event was commemorated by Rolling Stone magazine, when they honored Halpin with “Pick-Up Player of the Year 1973.”  Interviewed at the time, Halpin praised The Who’s stamina, saying:

“I only played three numbers and I was dead.”

Halpin went onto graduate from San Francisco University, and became composer-in-residence at the Headlands Centre for the Arts, in Sausalito, California. He also played with a number of bands including The Sponges, Funhouse, Folklore, Snake Doctor and Plank Road and also managed a punk rock nightclub before moving to Bloomington, Indiana, in 1995 to become a visual artist.

Halpin died in February 2008, less than a week after his birthday, he was 54.
 

 
More of Scot Halpin and The Who, plus bonus clip, after the jump…
 
With thanks to Heather Harris for suggesting this story!
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment