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Keith Moon’s Daughter Talks Hovercrafts And Her Father’s Legacy

Keith Moon’s daughter Amanda de Wolf talks growing up with her famous rockstar father and his life off stage in our exclusive interview.

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Keith Moon daughter interview
Photo: Chris Morphet/Redferns

It’s strange to think that Keith Moon, born on August 23, 1946, would have turned 70 today. But it’s a very appropriate day for Part 1 of uDiscover’s interview with his daughter Amanda de Wolf, known as Mandy, who’s been remembering the father who passed away suddenly when she was 12 years old, in 1978.

Her memories of him have been brought into focus via the new publication, by Omnibus Press, of A Tribute To Keith Moon: There Is No Substitute, compiled by author Ian Snowball. De Wolf and Moon’s estate have authorized the book, which has an introduction by Pete Townshend and contains many previously unseen photos and new interviews with those who knew the late Who drummer.

“I think it’s lovely that it’s not so much about all his antics, as people who knew him, met him and admired him for his drumming,” says Moon’s daughter. “It’s lovely to hear more about him as a person. It wasn’t all about the wildness, he was really quite a sweet guy.”

Mandy was Keith’s daughter by model Kim Kerrigan, born in the early days of The Who’s success. The couple’s often violent life together, caused in large measure by Moon’s drinking, prompted the couple to split, after which Kim and Mandy went to live with Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan, formerly of the Small Faces, who married Kim in 1978. She died in 2006, and McLagan in 2014.

Moon’s daughter speaks of her father with an affection tinged with realism, as she recalls both the good and bad of the brief time in which he was in her life. “I often say that I’ve spent my life talking about someone I didn’t even know that well,” she says poignantly. “But it’s normal, I understand it. It’s a shame mum’s not around to talk about him.

“The hardest part, sometimes, is that we left so young, and maybe the more negative memories stick out for you,” continues de Wolf, who later had to overcome her own problems with alcohol abuse. “When I was a bit older, I realized that people do change when they drink. I was still angry, because with mum getting together with Mac, he was a bit jealous and so it was best not to talk about Keith or say anything nice.

“When I was older, I started to appreciate The Who more. I didn’t really grow up listening to them, to be honest. At Tara [the house in Chertsey, Surrey where Mandy, Kim and Keith lived], it was the Beach Boys I remember. I was six or seven when we moved there.”

As she describes life with one of the most famous rock stars in the world, the challenges of a sometimes bizarre upbringing come clearly (and sometimes amusingly) into focus.”He used to call me his lion cub,” says Mandy. “What I mostly remember is going down to the pub on the hovercraft. I used to love the hovercraft and the milk float, those were my two favorite things.

“There was a pub called the Golden Grove that was at the end of the driveway from Tara. There was this long driveway with two houses at the end. One was  [owned by] some people who had a pool we used to use, and then he’d drive us down there. The milk float had a couch on it and it was like a living room. It was so funny.”

In Part Two of uDiscover’s interview, Mandy talks about defeating her own demons, how current Who drummer Zak Starkey called her dad “Uncle Keith,” and how she still talks about her father with Keith’s mum, her grandmother, now 95.

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Format: Union Jack flagUK English
11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. matthew timlin

    August 24, 2016 at 2:20 am

    i need to try and imagin

  2. John Wolff

    August 24, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Love to see all this appreciation of my dear friend Keith. Looking forward to reading and seeing more from the cub turned Lioness herself. Nice photo of you with the Pictures of Lily drum kit I helped Keith with back in the day. I have a small 3d lenticular of it for you Mandy, when I know where to send it.
    Love and kisses xxx John Wolff

    • uDiscover

      August 24, 2016 at 11:43 am

      John, great memories, we’ll pass along your message to Mandy. Last time I saw you was at a hotel in NYC, Knordoff Robbins launch and their was the small matter of a fire alarm and Prince Edward levitating

  3. Richard Dinges

    September 3, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you Mandy for giving us an alternate view of your father! Keith Moon and Ringo Starr were the two most important inspirations that led to my choice to play the drums as a teenager. I still play today-40 years later, and I still listen to Moon for inspiration! Ironically, it was music of The Who in particular that kept me out of trouble; the reflective lyrics provided a context for teen angst that I would only come to understand many years later. Keith was in his own way a role model, not so much for his antics(which were fun to read about–even if exaggerative) but for his unique approach and talent as a percussive artist. One of the regrets I have to this day is that I never saw Moon play live.Fortunately Live at Leeds provides me the opportunity to revisit The Who and Moonie in their prime. I am looking forward to reading Part two of your account as Mr. Moon’s daughter. Thank you again for sharing your experiences with all of we Who Fans, and Moon acolytes! Cheers!

  4. Matt

    October 9, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Nice to read it will be more about Keith’s drumming not all about “moon the loon”. As a drummer for 35 years I still cannot work out how he did it! Just listen to live at Leeds, stunning

  5. Simon Budd

    January 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Amanda:

    Please continue to bring us whatever you can regarding your late father – Keith. The late Keith moon has inspired so many future and present musicians as well as those past.

    I do hope that a proper movie will be made about Keith as his contribution to music and his personality need to be brought to the big screen.

    Sincerely,

    -Simon Budd

  6. Gerald Boettcher

    July 17, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Keith moon put flint michigan in the spot light! He was the best drummer! I have a who are you album with all 4 members autographs. It is my pride and joy!

  7. Mark Leaver

    October 23, 2017 at 11:41 am

    When I was a child Keith Kim & Mandy lived in Winchmore Hill North London & were good friends of my mother & father. They had the Salisbury Arms Pub locally where Keith frequented . I remember being allowed to go to Keith’s house where I could play on one of the drum kits with Mandy . At that time Keith owned a Pink Rolls Royce & his Chauffeur conveniently lived across the road. Happy Memories of a lovely family.

  8. Michael j. Duhamel

    November 5, 2017 at 12:31 am

    Thanks. Mandy The Who and the great Keith Moon were and are an extremely important part of my life. God bless you and your dad Keith!

  9. Tina Maria Camilleri

    November 11, 2018 at 5:59 am

    What a joy to hear about Keith Moon from a daughter’s viewpoint. Such love in your words. We don’t hear enough about Keith as the man,father,or son,mainly the hyper rock star. I don’t know if Keith was properly diagnosed with adhd(I have it) back in those days,but thank god for the drums! What would he have done,what path would he have followed without them! There wouldn’t have been the real Who without his genious personality.
    I’m reading ‘Dear boy’ biography and thouroughly enjoying it. May his memory live on forever!

  10. Penelope

    November 24, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks very much Mandy for your words. It is nice to know his memory is still alive and you are fine.

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