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Keith Moon at the Speakeasy
Keith Moon at the Speakeasy
Factory played at the Speakeasy in Margaret Street a couple of times. I remember the narrow staircase down, which was hell for Andy's Hammond (although we were told Graham Bond used to strap his to his back and take it down alone!), the expensive drinks, and of course the clientele. You never knew who you'd see.

One night, in the gents, Dave (our roadie) and I found ourselves at the urinal with Keith Moon, in his other hand was a bottle of Napoleon Brandy! "Are you Keith Moon?" We ventured, dumbly. He confirmed this and we told him we were with the band playing tonight. I added that our drummer was his biggest fan and would he like to come backstage to meet him? Keith agreed and gestured for us to lead the way.

'The Speak' was quite narrow, as I remember, with a handkerchief dancefloor infront of a small stage. I believe the dressing room was behind the stage, accessed by a thin corridor to the left of it. There was loud dance music being played and as we approached the dancefloor,  Keith held out his bottle to me saying something like, "Hold on to that, dear boy", and proceeded to do a wild 30 second 'idiot dance', much to the delight of those around.

After acknowledging the applause, he recovered his bottle and walked with us to meet Lol. Lol was of course delighted and I remember them chatting in the corridor for several minutes.

A sad footnote, although I don't know if it was the same night. As we were loading the van in the early hours with the dustmen doing their night round in the light drizzle, we noticed a sad figure lying in the gutter. Someone leaving the club remarked, "There's Viv again", and walked on.

RIP Keith Moon and Vivian Stanshall. It was costly, but you gave us a lot of fun.

-Jaffa

Postscript:

Lol remembers this meeting very well, but it wasn't the first time he met the Who's drummer, so I asked him to tell us about that. Here's his reply:

"Yes, I had met Moon very briefly as he came off stage at Toft's, Folkestone on 28th January, 1967. This was the penultimate time that they wrecked their equipment on such a great scale, with 2 lovely Rickenbackers being sacrificed. As I congratulated Keith on his superb performance as he rushed past me from the stage, dripping with sweat, he shook my right hand and said 'Thanx, keep smiling.' That's what I've tried to do ever since. I've always maintained that it was the magic from his right hand that enabled me to spin sticks with that hand. It took a lot of hard work to do it as well with my left hand.”