40th Anniversary of Epic Who Concert


“Scot Halpin is the reason we play air guitar and air drums,” says Scott Tady in a recent interview with Cindy Howes. The anniversary of Scot’s incredible performance with the Who in 1973 is upon us, and it’s the stuff of fan legends. On November 20th, 1973, Scot Halpin took over for Keith Moon during The Who's performance at the Cow Palace.

This concert, the stuff of fan legends, happened in San Francisco after a long absence of The Who from the United States. Keith Moon, drummer of The Who, passed out on his drums, and the band began asking members of the audience if they could fill in. Scot Halpin, a 19 year old kid from Iowa volunteers from the sidelines, and they pull him on stage. “And by all accounts, he did well!”

“To tell the truth I was scared to death. Everything was crazy. The size of the drums was ridiculous, the tom toms were as big as my bass drum, everything was locked into place,” said Scot in an interview with Drum Magazine. “I started hitting with the sticks, but I had to turn them over to the fat because it wasn’t making any sound.” According to Tady, he never really took advantage of his moment of fame. Eventually, he died in Indiana in 2009 due to an inoperable brain tumor.

According to one of many legends, Moon had ingested a handful of horse tranquilizers before the show, leading to his unconscious state. “That’s the wrong to time take a handful of tranquilizers. Probably should wait until you’re not on tour at all,” said Cindy.

Keith Moon is regarded as one of rock ‘n roll’s finest skinsmen, having been a large part of what drove the band forward. “Back then, the guitar was everything. There were guitar gods, but you didn’t hear about drum gods. He made everyone catch up to him, that’s what I always thought,” said Tady. Unfortunately, Moon has also passed away of alcohol poisoning. Quoting Danny Sugarman from a biography of Jim Morrison, trying to figure out the exact cause of Moon’s death is like trying to find out the exact caliber of the pistol he held to his head.”

There is a biopic in development about Keith Moon, and it even has input from Roger Daltrey. So far, no news on who has been cast as Moon, but Cindy knows for sure that she doesn’t want to play him if it means she has to method act.

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