The Horse Tranquilizer Incident

August 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm , by Bryan

So, I came into this great video and wanted to share it with you guys… It definitely cant be considered a Keith Moon video as he is only on camera for about 10 seconds during the entire 8+ minutes.

But his absence is what makes this video great.

Sometime during a Who show on November 20, 1973, Keith downs a pile of horse tranquilizers handed to him by an audience member, and chases them with a bottle of brandy. Evidently mumbling something to the effect of “I can take it, I’m Keith “Fucking” Moon.

As you will see, it all goes downhill from there.

Here are the highlights: The Who are playing the Cow Palace in California. They are an hour into a show on the Quadrophenia tour:

  • At 0:09 Keith’s drums come to a weak halt in the middle of “Wont Get Fooled Again.”
  • At 1:10 Pete tells the crowd that Keith’s passed out.
  • At 2:40 Keith manages to come back on stage, looking quite off balance.
  • At 3:50 Moon passes out a 2nd time, and the roadies drag him off the drum set. This time he is finished.
  • At 5:00 Pete announces that Keith is done for the night.
  • At 5:27 Pete asks the audience, “can anybody play the drums? I mean somebody good.”
  • At 6:30 a lucky guy from the audience named Scott Halpin takes a seat behind the immortal “Pictures of Lilly” drumset.
  • At 6:40 Scot Halpin and the band launch into “Smokestack Lightning” followed by “Spoonful” but the video seems to skip most of the music.
  • At 8:19 Scot Halpin and the band take a bow…

Its pretty amazing. For anyone who wants to hear more about this incident, Scot gave an interview about it, that has some additional details on how he was picked from the audience by none other than Bill Graham himself. Talk about your 15 minutes of fame. This has got to be written into the movie somehow…

18 Comments so far

by google

On August 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I liked your article is an interesting technology
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by Marina

On September 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

You have really interesting blog, keep up posting such informative posts!

by Espn

On December 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Son of a gun, this is so hlepufl!

by Peter Dawson

On January 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I think you mean Bill Graham, not Billy Graham who is an Evangelist.

by Bryan

On January 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

“I think you mean Bill Graham, not Billy Graham who is an Evangelist.”

You are correct! I will have to change that. Thanks!

by Sheefekayatte

On January 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Happy New Year!
Health, luck and love!

by vanny

On February 6, 2012 at 8:40 am


by Pat

On February 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I’m not sure it was mentioned, but Scott Halpin acctually died in 2008 from a brain tumor.

by Jeff

On March 14, 2012 at 5:57 am

Never knew about this incident. I live very close to Bloomington here in
Indiana, where Scot lived, and unfortunately died too soon.

I always felt a kinship with Keith because I, unfortunately, lived like him for 25 or 30 years. I often wound up in jail or the hospital though. The only thing I ever remember from the trips to rehab was – they always said it ends in death, incarceration or sobriety.

I eventually found my way to the latter, I wish Keith had.

by Bryan

On March 15, 2012 at 5:17 am


I’m very happy that you fought your way to sobriety. Not everyone can. That is the dark side to the Keith Moon legacy that often gets overlooked.


by andjoh

On May 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I’ve only seen the short to this, not at this length, only where Keith collapses and cuts to him getting carried off.

And as jeff, yes same, been there, done that. Found rehabs were waste of time, it was something I had to decide myself, done well for over two years now without those text book quacks giving lectures on this will happen, that will happen blah blah

I only had to look at others, look at myself being like the others, then didn’t like what I seen. My house mate died earlier this year from a bottle of brandy a day.

He was Ugly ;)

My next leap is that on Tuesday I am facing the Courts applying for my licence back that I could of done over ten years ago, but always thought it will be a waste of time and money, I would lose it on the first day probably. But now I feel good and ready to go for it again and don’t feel like a burden on anyone. I’ve bought a bus I can sleep in, incase I do happen to be somewhere and have that drink.

But not going to ;)

[...] most famous fan appearance is probably The Horse Tranquilizer Incident where after an unfortunate run-in with some rather strong drugs Keith Moon was unable to finish a [...]

by reap

On July 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Crazy but grew up hearing the Who’s music but never knew anything about the group but could easily name them if shown pictures or heard their music. I was 13 when Mr. Moon passed and “Who Are You” was like a big deal to people then. Now I get to go back and appreciate the history I was too young to understand. AnyWho…Stumbled upon your blog searching about Mr. Moon this evening and just would like to say “Thank You”.

by Bryan

On July 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Reap, You are very welcome. Its been my pleasure to put this out there!!

by Steve

On July 6, 2012 at 2:44 am

What a story!

by Harrison

On July 15, 2012 at 1:25 am

Jesus… I’ve been a wannabe rockstar since I was a little kid. Once had a dream where Ozzy’s guitar player was too drunk to play, so I filled in.. Even though I was 9.

by Pete

On July 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I think Scot’s parents are still living in Muscatine, IA. I lived there for 6 years, when I was in radio. I never talked to them, but they’ve been interviewed before. I understand they’re very nice people.

by Glenn S

On December 4, 2012 at 11:11 am

A couple of days ago I heard the archived BBC interview with Scott’s wife (girlfriend?), Scott’s friend at the concert with him and Keith Moon’s handler… fantastic story. What a dream moment. Something like that will never happen again. Keith’s handler had a helluva job trying to keep him sober(ish) and in the interview he stated that it was a girl Keith had met earlier that day who gave him the elephant (!) tranquilizer in the car on the way to the concert. She passed out before Keith and The Who’s doctor went with her to the hospital, and so was not around for Keith’s passing out! He described that moment as Keith falling backwards with his arms playing air drums and then managing to lie flat out on the tiny drummer’s stool!

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About Me

I am just one person who also happens to be a huge Who fan. The legendary Keith Moon has always been a fascinating figure for me. When I heard that there might be a movie about Keith produced by none other than Roger Daltrey, I had to build this site to unleash my enthusiasm.

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Nice job!
You have proven yourself worth of access to a particularly hilarious Keith Moon nugget I have posted for private viewing. All your base are belong to us...
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Nice job!
You have proven yourself worth of access to a particularly hilarious Keith Moon nugget I have posted for private viewing. All your base are belong to us...
Enjoy, my friends.

Konami Easter Egg by