Remember When: Keith Moon Rigged his Drum to Explode in 1967

Keith Moon was always known for his explosive drumming, but he took things a step further at a 1967 appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

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The Smothers Brothers were known for being a little edgy. They never shied away from talking about politics or slighting the powers that be. So if there was ever a program to get a little edgy yourself in the ’60s, it would be The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

The Who in that era were known for leaving stages a little less put together than how they found them. Breaking their instruments seemed to be par for the course for a Who show. Usually, though, they stuck to smashing guitars on amps and other fairly usual forms of rock ‘n’ roll-fueled destruction. However, at this 1967 show, Moon decided to bring out the big guns.

It wasn’t the first time Moon had packed his drums with explosives, but he decided to use more firepower than usual during the Smothers Brothers appearance. While Pete Townshend was going on a tirade downstage, smashing his guitar as usual, Moon set off the sizable explosion.

[RELATED: 3 Songs You Didn’t Know Keith Moon Wrote for The Who]

“It was 10 times the legal amount of gunpowder you’re allowed to use on a soundstage,” Director of The Who documentary, The Kids Are Alright, Jeff Stein once said. “Keith bribed a stagehand, and I think he got him loaded on some booze.”

Roger Daltrey was blown away from his spot on the stage and Townshend emerged from a cloud of smoke looking a little worse for wear.

On top of the set being one of the band’s most formidable on-stage antics, it is also famous for, reportedly, causing Townshend’s hearing loss.

“My hair caught fire and my hearing was never the same again,” Townshend recalled. Townshend managed to pull it together enough to smash Tommy Smothers’ guitar when he came to check on the group.

“Everyone was so shocked,” Smothers once said of the stunt. “When Townshend came over and grabbed my guitar, I was busy just seeing where the bodies were, seeing if anyone was injured. He picked the guitar up, and people kept saying, ‘Did he really ruin your guitar? It looked so real!’ And I’d say, ‘Well it was real! I was confused as hell!'”  

Check out the moment, below.

(Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

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