By Rob Brunner
Updated January 20, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Ah, Keith Moon. Moon the Loon. A sloppy drummer and a sloppier drunk according to conventional wisdom, he just lucked into one of the world’s best rock bands and proceeded to play one continuous intrusive drum solo until his drug-induced death in 1978. Why on earth would anybody want to read a biography of him? Because that’s not the real Keith Moon, according to British journalist Tony Fletcher. In this fascinating bio, Fletcher — a lively storyteller with a keen ear for music — reveals Moon to be a master prankster and brilliant drummer, a deeply troubled but lovable musician whose talents and personality were as central to the Who’s genius as Pete Townshend’s. Not just another dull catalog of rock debauchery, Moon manages to capture — often hilariously — the lunatic antics that earned Moon his nickname yet never fails to take him seriously as an artist.