04 August 2017

Keith Moon's brandy breakfasts

[In 1978], four years after the death of Cass Elliot at Harry Nilsson's flat, Keith Moon, after fitting enough partying and convivial nights in his short life for a small town, died of an overdose of Heminevrin tablets in the very same bed.

Keith and his girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, had been to a party held by Paul McCartney at the trendy chrome and neon-lit cocktail-bar restaurant called Peppermint Park on St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden. By many accounts Keith was unusually quiet and sober and shared a booth with the McCartneys, David Frost, John Hurt and Kenny Jones - Moon's eventual replacement, ironically. At midnight, everyone went to the Odeon, Leicester Square, for the late-night premiere of the Buddy Holly Story that starred Gary Busey. Before the end of the film Keith and Annette caught a taxi back to Curzon Place. Keith started watching the film The Abominable Dr Phibes but fell asleep after taking several Heminevrin sedatives that had been prescribed to aid alcohol withdrawal. At about 7.30am he ordered Annette to cook him steak for breakfast. She complained but Keith retorted with, 'If you don't like it, you can fuck off'. Unfortunately they were his last words.

Annette, who had been sleeping on the living room couch because of Moon's incessant snoring, discovered him in the afternoon, face down on the bed, and he was found to be dead on arrival at Middlesex Hospital in Westminster [...]

Moon the Loon was only thirty-two when he died, but dying young didn't come to anyone's great surprise - he was one of the greatest partiers ever. He once outlined his typical daily diet to a doctor: 'I always get up about six in the morning. I have my bangers and eggs. And I drink a bottle of Dom Perignon and half a bottle of brandy. Then I take a couple of downers. Then it's about 10 and I'll have a nice nap until five. I get up, have a couple of black beauties [also known as Black Birds or Black Bombers and are a combination of amphetamine, or speed, and dextroamphetamine], some brandy, a little champagne and go out on the town. Then we boogie. We'll wrap it up around four'.

- Rob Baker, Beautiful Idiots & Brilliant Lunatics, Stroud, Gloucs, 2015, p.91-2.
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