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Rhythm magazine interview with Keith Moon’s drum tech Mick “Doc” Double

Excerpts from interview with Keith Moon’s drum tech Mick “Doc” Double by Geoff Nicholls. Rhythm magazine, November 2002.

What was the kit you inherited?

“I think it was the silver — but then the first kit with me was yellow glitter. Two bass drums, two floors, three top toms. I used to build the kits from scratch. Living in Leicestershire I’d get the shells from Premier in Wigston and drill them and put custom-made fittings on and the Rogers Swiv-O-Matic brackets. I went down to Premier and they took me round the manufacturing plant and I noticed part of the chroming process was copper to make the chrome stick to the metal. So I thought, why stop there? We ended up with this kit in white with copper fittings. Keith wanted something a bit different and no one had done that and it was a great combination, though it was murder to keep clean. We lacquered the copper but he flicked water over it, and other substances … It didn’t like the old brandy, did the copper. I built the kit in my garage in Leicestershire at Desford, next to Mallory Park race circuit. I built several kits there.”

“Moon was a terror sometimes. He used to smash a lot of stuff and Roger (roadie Roger Searle), and I would go to the next city, to the local drum store and buy literally any sort of drum. I mean, you couldn’t keep carrying spares, other than snares, of course. But if he smashed a floortom, say, I used to carry this Fablon material (sticky backed fabric) and buy any drum about the right size and take all the fittings off it. If it was the white kit, or the silver, or whatever, I’d have white or silver fablon and cover it in that and drill it, put the fittings back on ready for the next show. That went on regularly, especially in America when they got bigger. We’d go out there with 30 Premier drums and come back to Britain with one Gretsch, one Ludwig, one whatever. We never told customs of course.”

“…occasionally he’s bust a bass drum pedal. He used Premier 250s, the blue ones with the rubber footboard. I used to take the rivets out and put in high-tensile stainless steel bolts, because if they broke, the rods would go through the bass drum heads. I’ve had that happen many times. The drums were heavily anchored to the deck — they had to be because he stood on them. I’d had to go under there during the show. It was always the right one that broke, so he’d swing his body round and put his right foot on his left pedal and I’d get round his right hand side. I had a bit of a two-by-four I’d get under the drum to lift it off the deck, tilt it all forward, so I could unscrew it. I had one or two of the lower tension rods with out the swivelly bit (thumbscrew) and I could get in with a long screwdriver and undo a lot quicker down the bottom. Get the new skin and rim back on. A nightmare.”

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