Rock and Roll Escapades – #1 The Who in Montreal

In the next few weeks, I’m going to hunt for some rock star stories. Fair warning…Keith Moon will be involved more than once.

On December 2, 1973, the Who were nearing the end of their Quadrophenia tour in Montreal Canada at the Bonaventure Hotel.

This scene started when Keith Moon smashed a ketchup bottle on the hotel wall. Pete Townshend said: I thought it looked aesthetically pleasing. Someone should frame it,…Pete had cut his hand with a steak knife so he added his blood to the ketchup “art” on the wall.

Keith Moon then grabbed a hotel painting and kicked it out of its frame and used the frame to frame his and Pete’s masterpiece. Ok…not good but funny…not a big deal so far.

Then Pete and Keith pitched a TV in the pool in the old rock and roll fashion. The two then pitched a sofa through the window to the nice courtyard below. Not finished yet they used a large marble table as a battering ram and went through a wall.

The Hotel staff looked at them and they looked at the hotel staff…both sides had a look of horror at the damage. One witness described the scene with one word: “Hiroshima”

Now the fun had begun…The police… or mounties came and rounded all the boys up. 14 of the Who crew including Mike Shaw a paraplegic that worked for the Who…they were arrested and went to jail. They woke Roger Daltrey who was sleeping in his bed when this went on and took him also.

When the police took the band to jail. Keith Moon declared to the officer in charge when they got there… “I believe I booked a suite.”

They ended up spending 7 hours in jail and missed their scheduled flight to Boston for a concert. They did end up getting there just on time that night to play the show.

Keith Moon would sometimes alter one of the songs he sang called “Bellboy” to say  “Remember the place in Canada that we smashed?”

John Entwistle later wrote a song called “Cell Number Seven” about the event.

Cell Number 7


Six thirty in the morning, I’d just got to sleep
I felt so tired didn’t even count sheep
I woke up with six policemen standing by the bed
The voice of doom was ringing in my head
Get up fella, and don’t make no fuss
Put your clothes on, you gotta come with us.

To cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven ain’t exactly Heaven.

Bill the con said, I think it appears
I’ve only been dreaming the last four years
Wiggy said, I’m having so much fun
Cell number one has something for everyone
Meanwhile in Boston the kids were queuing
Back in Montreal we were just stewing.

In cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven’s a long way from Heaven.

Micky boy was busy banging his cell
While the admiral was trying to talk his way outta Hell
Well Bobby needs a change of seed and sand
The promoter’s tearing out his hair screaming where’s the band?

(Guitar Solo)

The chicks were in the chicken shack eating bread and honey
The hotel manager was adding up the money
Come on froggies let us pay
We got a show to do
We gotta get away.

In cell number two was the singer of The Who
Pacing up and down like a tiger in a zoo
Cousin Graham didn’t even know what he’d done
To make them take away his, Nikon
Meanwhile in Boston the kids were waiting
While back in Montreal we were just speculating.

In cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven ain’t nothing like Heaven.

The Birdman was sleeping in cage number three
Waiting for the sound of a turning key
While Dougal the Dane leant against the wall
Frightened to sleep in case he should fall
And meanwhile in Boston the kids never knew
That in cell numbers two, three, and seven were The Who.

Cell number seven
Me and Moonie were in cell number seven
He dribbled on my jacket in cell number seven
Oo hoo
Snored like a goat
Ruined my coat.


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

17 thoughts on “Rock and Roll Escapades – #1 The Who in Montreal”

    1. Thanks for reading Deke… I’m sure living these stories could be a pain for the other members but it would never boring around the man. I guess what balances it out a bit is supposedly he was one of the nicest rock stars to fans.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh oh, Moonie is gonna be in trouble! 🙂

    Seriously, while in retrospect this story kind of sounds funny and entertaining, it really was pretty scary, if you think about it. Good thing that apparently nobody got hurt, not to speak of killed, during the rampage! After all, destruction to the hotel property could be fixed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know I never read of anyone getting hurt but Keith in these occurrences. They must have looked for “citizens” before they did things. lol. It’s the only thing I can think of.

      Hotels…many of them LOVED to have the Who…it meant cash money to remodel. They would pay them for the trouble also and once in a while they would invite the manager to participate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Surprised they were let back into the country! Quebec police used to have a reputation in the day for being the…well, maybe most-Minneapolis police-like of Canadian forces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read where they treated The Who great and if they would have been too bad it would have been international news plus the hotel got a big pay off and probably didn’t press charges…that is my guess.


    1. He got that ALOT…poor Roger all he wanted to do was bed a girl and sleep…no drinking or drugs…he said he got kicked out of so many hotels for doing nothing…coutesey of Moon BUT Townshend or Entwistle would put him up to things. He loved the publicity but they didn’t.
      A waterbed story is coming soon….it is awesome.


      1. Your ass would be going to jail anyway lol. Hell he might as well had some fun…he was oging to pay for it anyway. What about poor Mike Shaw who couldn’t move at all. he worked for the Who since 66 and was in a car wreck…they employed him after that happened.

        They were one of the good bands to people…and employees. Moon loved fans and would sign every autograph…the others not as much but he was great. The rest were gruff but good hearted.


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