Keith Moon Gets Off Easy

The court exonerates the Who drummer of drunk driving charges

Keith Moon
Chris Morphet/Redferns
Keith Moon rehearsing at IBC studios.
By |

LONDON — Who drummer Keith Moon has been cleared of all charges surrounding the death of his chauffeur last January.

The chauffeur, Cornelius Boland, 24, was crushed under Moon's Bentley while Moon was driving it from a parking lot to escape a mob of skinheads.

Moon pleaded guilty to three charges: drunk driving, driving without a license and driving without insurance. But the court wiped out all three charges.

As recounted in the courtrom in Hatfield, the story began when a group of jeering skinheads stormed the car as Moon, his wife, and several friends were leaving a club. They threw stones and coins, kicked the automobile, and tried to overturn it. Amid the panic, according to the prosecutor, Boland either got out or was dragged out.

Moon, who said he had hired Boland in anticipation of getting soused, took the wheel of the slowly-moving car. In the scuffle outside, the chauffeur was knocked into the path of the car.

Under the circumstances, the judge told Moon, "You had no choice but to act the way you did and no moral culpability is attached to you."

This story is from the April 30th, 1970 issue of Rolling Stone.

From The Archives Issue 57: April 30, 1970