Until his untimely death in 1978, Who drummer Keith Moon was one of rock’s greatest hell-raisers, renowned for wrecking hotel rooms and causing chaos. Tales of his exploits are legendary and make the antics of current would-be pop bad-boys, such as the Gallagher brothers, seem like a vicarage tea party. However, not all of Moon’s crazy capers have been made public – until now! In a series of completely unsubstantiated claims, former top roadie Flinty O’Clinker has revealed many of the Moonster’s amazing secrets in an exclusive interview with The Sleaze. Clinker claims to have worked with many top bands, including Led Zeppelin, T-Rex, Queen and Deep Purple, and mixed with some of the greatest rock personalities of the era – but it was his time with The Who (1972-77) which he cherishes the most. Working as the group’s drum roadie, O’Clinker became the close confidant of Keith Moon, witnessing (and sometimes participating in) some of his greatest pranks. According to O’Clinker, Moon relished playing practical jokes on fellow rock stars. Whilst most of these incidents have since become public knowledge, several proved so embarrassing to their victims that they were hushed up and details kept from the press. Prominent amongst these was the occasion in 1972 when he slipped horse laxative into Ian Gillan’s drink prior to a Deep Purple concert. Gillan subsequently shat himself spectacularly on-stage during a performance of ‘Hard Loving Man’ – he tried to carry on whilst clutching his arse in a desperate attempt to stem the flow, before collapsing on stage in a reeking mess shrieking. In the ensuing chaos guitarist Ritchie Blackmore slipped and fell in the pool of excrement covering the stage. His predicament was exacerbated when the spreading tide of diarrhoea shorted his amps. Some have suggested that this marked the beginning of the infamous feud between Blackmore and Gillan. For his part, Gillan was left a living wreck for several days afterwards. The former roadie has also described the time he assisted Moon in drugging and kidnapping‚Thin Lizzy vocalist Phil Lynott. Dressed as aliens, Moon and O’Clinker whisked the semi-‚conscious Lynott away from his hotel room one night in 1974 and took him, by hot air balloon, to an elaborate mock-up of a spaceship built in the grounds of Moon’s mansion. There they subjected Lynott to anal probes and other bizarre experiments before returning him to his hotel. Moon had intended to reveal to Lynott that it was an April Fool’s Day gag the following morning. However, after O’Clinker pointed out to him that it was mid-September, Moon was too embarrassed to admit responsibility for the joke. Lynott consequently suffered a nervous breakdown and underwent several years of expensive psychotherapy. O’Clinker suspects that this incident could have contributed to Lynott turning to hard drugs.
Clinker’s most astounding revelations concern Moon’s penis obsession. “Keith was fascinated by anything that looked remotely like a knob”, he told us. “John Lennon reckoned it was because Keith felt inadequate about the size of his own todger – but I think that’s just bollocks. Moony was hung like a baboon!”. The Who drummer’s obsession led to him amassing a huge collection of phallic objects at his Surrey mansion. These ranged from provocatively shaped parsnips to fabulous jewel-encrusted Faberge dildoes originally made for the Romanovs. The collection included a pair of rare steel knob sheaths shaped like cockerel’s heads. “Experts reckoned that there were less than five pairs left in the country. Keith had to pay a private collector a small fortune for them,” explains O’Clinker. “They were used in the little-known nineteenth century sport of Cornish cock-fighting, where two naked men would strap the sheaths on over their skin-boats and, with their hands tied behind their backs, and fence with the sharpened beaks of the sheaths.” Not surprisingly, Moon revived the ancient sport, with various of his rock star pals strapping on the sheaths to battle it out in the cellar of the drummer’s mansion. “It was pretty wild – some of rock and roll’s biggest feuds were settled in that cellar,” says the former roadie. “In 1975 Syd Barrett had Roger Waters begging for mercy after he chased him all round the cellar, slashing at his bare buttocks with his cock blade. Roger claimed the result shouldn’t count because Syd was high at the time, but Keith said there was nothing in rules about being off your face, so the result stood. The rest of Pink Floyd were furious – they’d put big money on Roger to win!” Indeed, at the cock-fighting craze’s height, it wasn’t unusual for sums into six figures to change hands on the results of matches. “Keith Richards made a fortune betting on Mick Jagger,” recalls O’Clinker. “Mick was the undoubted champion of the cock fights – it was that strut of his, it got his old man into absolutely the perfect position to strike at opponents cobblers!” However, even Jagger came unstuck in a Stones-Beatles grudge match. “Keith couldn’t actually get any of the Beatles themselves to take part, but Yoko Ono agreed to face Mick instead. I think Keith managed to convince her it was some kind of performance art,” chuckles O’Clinker. “Anyway, she just ran straight at Mick, screaming like a banshee! He was completely freaked out and tried to make a run for it – she got him right up the arse!”
The contests were eventually suspended in 1976, after teeny-bopper David Cassidy had to be admitted to hospital with severe lacerations. “I don’t know what came over Freddie Mercury that night,” sighs the roadie. “He just went for young David like a tiger!” Further scandal was narrowly avoided later that year when a female guest at a drink and drugs orgy was found impaled on one of the sheaths after trying to use it as a dildo. A local doctor was persuaded to sign a death certificate claiming that she had died of blood loss after cutting herself shaving. Following their demise, Moon consoled himself by obsessively stroking the pride of his collection, a blue whale’s penis, which he advertised as ‘The Largest Penis in the World’, when he opened the collection to the public at bank holidays. Sadly, this claim was to lead to his downfall when, in 1977, Surrey Trading Standards took him to court for fraud, claiming that the exhibit was actually made of papier-mâché and therefore could not be the world’s largest penis. The case was thrown into chaos when the prosecuting barrister, Thomas Squeers QC, told the judge that he could conclusively prove that Moon’s claims were false. Squeers then dropped his trousers shouting, “Obviously it can’t be the globe’s biggest member, as I have the largest penis in the world!” He then waved his member at the gallery. Whilst the judge fined Squeers £2,000 for perjury, he found against Moon and ordered that the whole collection be seized and destroyed on the grounds of public decency. The following year Moon died a broken man. Says O’Clinker; “I know they claimed his death was down to drugs, but I know that it was the result of a broken heart after the loss of his beloved penis collection. I’ve always held Ringo Starr, who sold him the blue whale member, personally responsible for the tragedy – there’s no way the bastard didn’t know it was a fake when he flogged it to Keith!”