Angie King and I had been taken by the Animals to see the High Numbers at the Scene club.
The dark, smoky, underground room, big enough to hold 200 people between its black walls if they stood close enough together, was exploding with noise as we came through the door. The walls were painted black and the floor, which was covered in discarded fag ends and chewing gum, was bare of any traces of furniture. There was nothing to do but dance or stand and watch. The group up on stage was the High Numbers, and the first thing I noticed was the drummer who was going wild, crashing and pounding away like a possessed thing. He seemed to me to be the driving force of the band.
It wasn’t long before the High Numbers changed their name back to the Who. The drummer, of course, was Keith Moon.
After they finished they came down to join us. Pete Townshend kept himself pretty much to himself right from the beginning, but all of the others were really friendly. Keith was always frantically exuberant, like an overgrown puppy that didn’t know its own strength. He was very attractive and I really took to him, partly because he was so hyperactive and a compulsive practical joker.
Angie and I became regulars at the Scene, going down there after my shift at the Golden Egg and staying until it closed in the small hours, then, when everyone had been thrown out, Keith and I used to wander around the streets of Soho, talking and joking. There were no coffee bars in those days, so there was nowhere to go once the clubs had finished, except back to people’s flats. The Who were signed up by Kit Lambert, who was trying to launch Track Records. He had a flat in Ivor Court at the top of Gloucester Place. One night Keith and I walked all the way up there from a gig at the Scene, talking constantly. We passed a garage called Moon’s Garage and he convinced me that it belonged to his family. I was an easy target for him, gullible and innocent and willing to believe almost anything he chose to tell me.
This is an extract from my book Through Gypsy Eyes.
Please see my book link for information on how to get it.
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