Peter ‘Dougal’ Butler, former personal assistant to Keith Moon, will discuss his days with The Who drummer before a live audience on Thursday (20). Butler worked for Moon for six years in the 1970s and is giving a series of talks about him. Thursday’s is at the Palace Drum Clinic in the Studio at the Palace Theatre in Redditch, Worcestershire.
“I will answer anything people want to know,” says Butler in the Redditch Standard. “And believe me, there’s lots to tell.” Tickets for this first in his series of talks cost £10. Coincidentally, Redditch was the home town of another larger-than-life British drumming giant, Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham.
Butler was a roadie for the band on tour in 1967 and then chauffeur to John Entwistle. He started working directly for Moon in 1971. “He was a really nice guy and we had many wild nights together,” he says in the newspaper story, “visiting the Playboy Mansion a few times.” This was after The Who completed a tour in Canada. “Hugh [Hefner] came out to greet us in his famous red dressing gown,” Butler goes on. “It was a crazy time in our lives.”
Problems began to develop in the pair’s friendship because of Moon’s drug use, he explains. “He was using all the time and I told him I couldn’t keep up with his lifestyle anymore. I was in my late twenties and wanted a change.”
Butler quit in late 1977, telling management he thought Moon could die “within a year” if he didn’t seek help. The drummer passed away in September 1978 from an overdose of the drug he was taking to combat alcohol withdrawal. He was 32.
“It will be great to have someone of Dougal’s calibre to come and speak to us,” says Matt Green, the founder of Palace Drum Clinic. “He will be bringing photos and stories with him, not just of Moonie but also other drummers and people he met along the way.”
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