The Exploding Drummer
The Who's powerful early live shows were generally climaxed with Pete Townshend smashing his guitars, Moon upending his drum kit and plenty of smoke bombs going off. But when the band made its American TV debut on the September 17th, 1967, episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Moon decided to ratchet things up even further. While the band's performance of "My Generation" was mostly mimed, the smash-up finale was unforgettably real, thanks to Moon loading his drums with considerably more flash powder than he'd ever used before. The resulting explosion nearly blew the Who themselves off the stage, briefly blinded the TV cameras, and caused actress Bette Davis – who was booked as a guest on the same program – to faint dead away in the wings.