Barry Band: Who was locked in the wardrobe at that interview?

Former Gazette reporter Keith Morgan
Former Gazette reporter Keith Morgan
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Former Gazette reporter Keith Morgan reckons he’s been dining out for decades on his early experiences in the music biz.

The story that “stops the show” is watching wild man of rock Keith Moon smash up a wardrobe in a Blackpool Opera House dressing room.

The Who on stage in 1981

The Who on stage in 1981

After the concert, the party continued with a food fight at a Blackpool hotel.

It wasn’t reported in The Gazette because it was in 1971, a few years before Keith Morgan joined the surge of young talent that shaped the paper for the next 30 years.

A few days ago, Keith and I dined out at the Blossoms in Ansdell to talk about the book he’s compiling about his career in journalism, with mention of the Blackpool concert visit of The Who.

Keith, who lived in Staining, said that after leaving Blackpool Grammar School in 1970 he got into local concert promoting and writing for underground magazines.

Exterior of the Savoy Hotel in Blackpool.

Exterior of the Savoy Hotel in Blackpool.

He was amazed to get an interview with the famous disassemblers of musical instruments – merely by writing to Pete Townshend.

He was met at the stage door by Roger Daltry and had a polite hello from John Entwistle before Townshend arrived.

But a minute into the interview, noises came from a wardrobe and it began to shake.

“Roger got sick of listening to Keith (Moon) so he locked him up,” said Pete.

Moments later Moon broke out, grabbed a fire axe and reduced his wooden prison to splinters.

After the show, our Keith was bundled into Moon’s Bentley and the party resumed at the Savoy Hotel.

We’ll wait for the book, but it can be said that the aggro led to Moon being hauled away by security and the interview being curtailed – until another time, said Pete Townshend. It didn’t happen.

Our Keith was soon recruited by an established promoter and toured with groups like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Hawkwind.

After a couple of years, he’d had enough of what he calls the awful side of the music scene.

One night in Scotland he quit and was dropped off by the Judas Priest van at Edinburgh Waverley.

“I came back to Blackpool and they went off to be millionaires.”

After a few years at The Gazette, Keith headed for Vancouver, not the first or even second Gazette scribe to do so, but he stayed and had a good career on the Province newspaper, latterly in every reporter’s dream job – testing new cars.

He’s a published author, with a Holocaust survivor’s story (Ruta’s Closet) and is now working on a book he is calling A Vicarious Life: An Ordinary Guy Among Extraordinary People.

“It will feature the sinners and saints I’ve written about. I’m hoping to meet up with many of them to see what they are doing now and what they have learned along the way.”

Keith is home in Vancouver, but wants to hear any stories our readers may have about the sinners and saints of old Blackpool.

If you’re “in the know” you can email him at keithrmorgan@telus.net