After reading about Keith’s exploits it doesn’t surprise me this incident happened to him, what surprises me is that it didn’t happen more often.
On the 1973 tour opener at the Cow Palace in San Fransico Keith found out that Horse Tranquilizers and Brandy don’t mix with drumming. It has been said that someone slipped the tranquilizer in his drink backstage. Dougal Butler his PA said it was a Monkey Tranquilizer.
Keith was playing erratic most of the night slowing down and speeding up the tempo. The Who were coming towards the end of their set and Moon was clearly struggling. A few minutes into Won’t Get Fooled Again he ground to a halt, and left the stage. He came back and played Magic Bus and just fell over on his drums near the end of the song…he looked out of it on the video. He was soon carried off stage
Pete Townshend told the audience “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…”
Pete then asked if anyone can play the drums… someone really good.
It’s hard to imagine one of the biggest bands in the world at that time asking for someone in the audience to fill in for their passed out drummer.
19-year-old Scott Halpin was there with a friend and said…“My friend was pushing me forward and saying, ‘Come on man, you can go up there and play, you can play,’” said Halpin. “He’s really the one that got me into it.”
In interviews, Halpin claimed the last thing he remembered was swallowing a shot of brandy and being introduced to the crowd by Roger Daltrey. That, and the size of Keith Moon’s kit: “It was ridiculous. The tom-toms were as big as my bass drum.” Scott did really well and Daltrey said afterward that he was really good. Halpin walked away from the kit an even bigger Keith Moon fan than before: “I only played three numbers, and I was dead.”… He talked later about the stamina that Moon must have had to play just a set.
Halpin was born in Muscatine, Iowa, to Elizabeth and Richard Halpin, of Muscatine. He grew up in Muscatine, showing early promise as a visual artist and musician. In the early 1970s, he moved to California, where he met his wife and lifetime collaborator Robin Young at City College of San Francisco in 1978. Halpin went on to earn an MA in Interdisciplinary Arts from San Francisco State University.
Halpin became a composer in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, in Sausalito, California, and played with a number of bands over the years, including The Sponges, Funhouse, Folklore, SnakeDoctor and Plank Road. While on the West Coast, Halpin and his wife managed a new wave punk rock night club, The Roosevelt, before moving to Indiana in 1995 to pursue opportunities in the visual arts.
From 1995 until his death, Halpin resided in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife Robin and son, James. According to local newspapers in the Bloomington area, Halpin died February 9, 2008, of an inoperable non-malignant brain tumor.
Keith leaves the stage 1:13:40 … and then passes out around 1:29:48. Pete talks to the audience and asks someone to play drums 1:37:50.
I have a friend named Bob who lived in Boston in 1976. His father worked for MCA Records and he saw The Who with Moon. After the first two songs, I Can’t Explain and Substitute Moon passed out and the show was canceled. The show was rescheduled but he didn’t make it to the makeup show…he regrets it now but he got to see Moon in action for 2 songs anyway… No call out for replacements in this concert since it was so early in the show.
San Francisco and Boston are the only two occasions that I know of that Keith passed out and caused a cancellation. I sent Bob this link and told him at least he has a short audio souvenir of the concert he attended. It doesn’t have the opener Can’t Explain but it does have Substitute and Pete telling the audience about Keith at 3:22… you can hear people talking about it on this bootleg. The cause of this one was too much Brandy and downers.