Pictures of Lily

Here is another classic drum kit from the “Play it Loud” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum; the “Pictures of Lily” kit, played by Keith Moon, The Who’s original drummer.
”Who” fans that remember Keith Moon, think of his reckless antics, and playing the court jester in that band. Sadly, his poor choices led to his early demise. I found his drumming to be exciting when I was a kid, in that it was completely unconventional. In fact, it was often sloppy, the tempo wavering noticeably, but loud, hard, powerful. He approached the drum kit with such fury and slammed away, creating a chaotic, yet somehow structured wall of rock drums, that drove The Who relentlessly. Yes, he played way over the top, and broke every rule of drum technique along the way.

But here’s the deal; despite the sloppiness, he played with great passion, and power, and brought everything he had to the kit and to that band, to make it rock like it did. He put his entire being and his crazy personality into his playing, and it was a drum sound like no other. When I see the old films and his wild playing, it inspires me to want to get behind the drums and start wailing away.
Yes, there is importance in learning the fundamental aspects of the drums. However, it is interesting to listen to the approaches of different drummers like Moon, who break all the rules, and yet brings passion and excitement to the drums, and to the band that they play in. Good examples of Moon’s drumming ; the film, “The Who, Live at the Isle of Wight”, and the classic album, “The Who, Live at Leeds.”

Rick Nonnenmocher