It was one of the greatest nights and one of the worst nights in a drummer’s life: ‘Twas on this very night in 1973, The Who kicked off their U.S. Tour at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Legend goes, “somebody” slipped a horse tranquilizer into Keith Moon’s pre-show beverage. Although he soldiered on through most of the set, Moonie collapsed twice at the drum kit, causing an irate Pete Townshend to ask the audience if there was anybody out there to finish the set with the Band.
Enter 19-year old aspiring drummer, Scot Halpin who happened to make his way to the stage. He convinced promoter Bill Graham to let him play. Which he did for three songs. After the show, Halpin was given an official Who tour jacket and promised a check of $1,000 for his help. Sadly, the money never showed up and his jacket was later stolen.
Scot Halpin passed away in 2008 at age 54 but his legacy and “hometown hero” story live on in Rock Folklore.