MIAMI — The call went out to police as a “41 Baker,” August 11th. “41” refers to a sick or injured person; “Baker” means restraining people who are “mentally disturbed.”
By the time an ambulance arrived at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Who drummer Keith Moon, the object of the police call, had already collapsed – though not before trashing his room and running around the hotel in what one security guard described as a “very agitated state.”
It was the second time Moon had been rushed to an American hospital this year. In March, he collapsed onstage at Boston Garden, two songs into the Who’s first show of their March-April tour. At the time, Roger Daltrey blamed Moon’s collapse on “the flu,” and Moon was able to perform two nights later in Madison Square Garden. The latest collapse occurred two days after the Who’s show at Miami’s City Baseball Stadium, the fourth date in their three-city minitour.
“I’m fine,” Moon reported five days later from his hospital bed at Hollywood (Florida) Memorial Hospital. Talking to Miami disc jockey Dave Ryder, he said, “I don’t really remember much about it. I felt dizzy . . . and I just blacked out and woke up here. They [the doctors] said [it was] a breakdown . . . from overwork, pressure, just getting wound up over the shows. I’ve been working quite steadily over the past two years and eventually it just catches up with you.”
Moon was released from the hospital August 19th, and he flew to Los Angeles. Earlier, he’d told Ryder, “I got a house to build in Malibu, so I can’t spend much time here.”
On the heels of a less-than-sellout tour (including a reported 15,000 at Jacksonville’s 70,000-capacity Gator Bowl), the Who are still looking forward to a penciled-in tour this fall. According to one publicity spokesperson, Moon would be “perfectly fit for the forthcoming tour.” In the interim, while Moon recuperates in Malibu, Peter Townshend and John Entwistle are on holiday and Roger Daltrey has returned to England to record his next solo album.
This story is from the May 4th, 1968 issue of Rolling Stone.