The Who’s Pete Townshend says he “tried everything” to keep Keith Moon alive

"I was obsessed with trying to keep Keith alive"

The Who’s Pete Townshend has reflected on the death of drummer Keith Moon, saying he “tried everything” to keep him alive.

Moon was the drummer for The Who between 1964 and 1978, and died from an overdose of Heminevrin, a drug used to treat and prevent symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. He was 32 years old.

“I tried everything,” Townshend told People of his attempts to help his friend. “I tried giving him money, I tried starving him of money. I tried sending him into rehab. I tried sending him to a guru weirdo, voodoo doctors.”

He continued: “I was obsessed with trying to keep Keith alive. It was quite clear that he was on a downward slide, and there was very little I could do. He was a very complicated character.”

Keith Moon
Keith Moon – CREDIT: Alamy

Earlier this year, it was reported that the long-awaited biopic about Moon is set to begin shooting this summer. The new film project, which is provisionally called The Real Me after the ‘Quadrophenia’ song, will be executive produced by The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Townshend.

According to Variety, Paul Whittington (The Crown) is set to direct, while the script has been penned by British screenwriter Jeff Pope. The company behind George Harrison: Living in the Material World and Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years is helming the production of the project.

It’s still undetermined who will play Moon, although Daltrey has previously said the casting will need to be very specific – and will need to be based on the actor’s eyes.

“I’ve got to find a Keith Moon,” the star told BBC 6Music’s Matt Everitt back in 2018. “It’s going to be very, very dependent on the actor and the actor’s eyes. Because you’ve got to cast it completely from the eyes because Moon had extraordinary eyes.”

When the radio DJ suggested it might be hard to find an actor who could play a musician like Moon, Daltrey replied: “What makes you think Keith was a fucking musician? He would have said, ‘How dare you, my boy! A musician? I’m a fucking drummer!’

“They didn’t really know Keith,” he added. “I don’t know whether anybody outside the band really got to know him like we did. He was a strange bunch of people.” The film has now been in the works for over a decade.

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