Backdating al capone
The household consisted of Keith and Kim, their daughter Mandy, Kim’s mother Joan, who was separated from Kim’s father, and her son Dermot, and despite the presence of two young children the atmosphere at Tara was constantly chaotic.
“Most people see cars as transport, as a means of getting from A to B but for Keith they were things to play with, usually late at night when he was in the mood for a fast drive.I had Keith’s phone number, which in itself was pretty remarkable as rock stars never gave out their phone numbers to anyone other than family, group associates and drug dealers, and after a while I thought nothing of calling up to ask what he was up to.If he was in he’d as likely as not say, “Come on over dear boy,” his typical greeting to all and sundry.The domestic arrangements of The Who were never a mystery to journalists.Alone among acts of their stature during the early 1970s they welcomed music writers into their homes for interviews, and it was no secret that Roger Daltrey owned a manor house in the village of Burwash on the Kent-Sussex border, that John Entwistle lived in a relatively modest semi-detached house in Ealing, and that after staying in a series of rented flats in central London Pete Townshend had moved his growing family into a large house next to the River Thames in Twickenham, a stone’s throw from Eel Pie Island where on October 30, 1968, The Who had performed in the dance hall of the island’s small hotel.The drive back, in the dark after a few drinks, was even more nerve wracking.
On this occasion I spent the night there, as I recall in Tony Fletcher’s definitive Moon biography .
On one of my last visits to Tara, in the spring of 1973, Keith was having a swimming pool built, complete with wave machine, and I remember riding around the grounds on tiny motor bikes he’d bought.
During his occupation he acquired many expensive cars that were parked outside: two Rolls-Royces, one the lilac Silver Cloud III that I drove, the other a white two-door Corniche with an opening roof; a white Mercedes coupé; a red Ferrari Dino 426 that bit the dust on a nearby double-carriageway; a silver AC Cobra that once belonged to Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham; and his ‘fun’ vehicles, a milk-float, an old American ‘Al Capone’ style car with running boards at the sides, a hot rod and a hovercraft, not to mention the ‘ordinary’ cars for other members of the household.
The bed-head was up against the outer bathroom wall, facing a huge wall-sized window, and there was a spherical TV hanging from a chain fixed to the ceiling.
The loo was within the bathroom, and John Lennon’s gold disc for ‘She Loves You’ was mounted on the wall next to a mirror above the basin.
He had a habit of playing Beach Boys’ music extremely loudly, often the same song – ‘Don’t Worry Baby’ – over and over again on his juke box in the den. Let’s listen to some music while we discuss what seems to be troubling you.