Pete Townshend On Keith Moon: ‘He Was A Great Manipulator’

The Who leader Pete Townshend recently reflected on the newly announced Keith Moon biopic during an interview with Rolling Stone. The musician opened up about his late bandmate’s personality and said that the drummer was a great manipulator, a great character, and a great showman altogether.

Following the success of several rock star biopics such as Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ and Mötley Crüe’s ‘The Dirt,’ movie announcements regarding legendary musicians keep coming. One of the most recent announcements was made for the late Who drummer Keith Moon. While the Who members, especially frontman Daltrey, have been eager to make a movie about Moon, the project idea has been in the works for over a decade with various partners.

Eventually, the project titled ‘The Real Me,’ named after the song on the sixth Who album ‘Quadrophenia,’ was announced. It was also revealed that the biopic has Moon’s former band members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend as executive producers and is directed by Paul Whittington with a script from screenwriter Jeff Pope. The shooting is set to begin in June, and the casting process has been going on for a few months.

Since making a Keith Moon biopic has been exciting for his fans and former bandmates, Pete Townshend was also asked about his opinions during a recent interview. The musician started his words by saying that Roger Daltrey has more knowledge about the project than he does. However, he also works with them on a few subjects. Townshend stated that the production will start soon and will be semi-fictionalized and dramatized Who story rather than just focusing on Keith Moon’s life.

The musician also said that he read numerous opinions regarding his relationship with Moon but revealed the truth behind these allegations. Apparently, they were never at war against each other at the time, but Townshend wasn’t obedient to his late bandmate as well. In addition, the Who leader opened up Keith Moon’s personality as well. According to him, Moon was an incredible manipulator, but at the same time, he was a great character and showman. The musician stressed Keith’s both sides and said that he was fun and hard to work with.

About the Keith Moon biopic, Townshend said:

“Bring it up with Roger. He’ll know more about it than I do. But it’s Spitfire films. They are the producers. I’m working with them on a few other things. It looks like it will probably happen soon. When you talk about it as a Keith Moon biopic, it’s going to be the first semi-fictionalized, dramatized Who story. It will be a Who biopic. Somebody is going to have to play Pete Townshend. I’ve read some very, very varied opinions about what my relationship was like with Keith. I view it one way, and other people view it another way. I certainly was never at war with Keith, but neither was I his puppy.

He was a great manipulator, a great character, and a great showman. He brought a lot of joy, but he also brought a lot of hardship and difficulty. I’ve always been honest about that. It will be interesting to see how that evolves. I certainly don’t see a position where if I didn’t like the way the story was being told, I’d block it. I don’t give a fuck, to be honest. I hope it happens because Roger has been working on it.”

Keith Moon was struggling with his alcohol addiction, so he had started using a prescribed course of Heminevrin to alleviate his alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, he was found dead on 7 September 1978 from an accidental overdose of Heminevrin. It was discovered that the musician had 32 clomethiazole pills in his system, six of which were sufficient to cause his death.