Keith Moon – The Last Four Years: A Rock Noir Romance

For four years, Annette Walter-Lax was Keith Moon's partner from their initial meeting in 1974, until Keith's tragic death on returning to the UK. Here is her account of their time together, told in a series of interviews. Annette's tale of her wild ride with one of rock's true originals will amaze fans of the genius drummer.

The Last Four Years: A Rock Noir Romance: Living with rock’s wildest drummer of all time

In early summer of 1974, Annette Walter-Lax, a 19-year-old Swedish model from the suburbs of Stockholm, first met Keith Moon, the wildest, highly regarded and most adored drummers of all time. Despite her stunning looks and outgoing personality, Annette’s promising modelling career came to an abrupt halt as she was swept off her feet by Keith within a few months of arriving in London. She quickly found herself living in Los Angeles with him, surrounded by celebrities, movie stars, and the biggest rock stars in the world at the time.

For four years, Annette was Keith Moon’s partner, during what was the peak of The Who’s success. Annette has largely stayed out of the spotlight since Keith’s untimely death in 1978 and has never spoken of their life together. That’s until the release of this book in 2019, In the books foreword Irish Jack says that Keith moons as having an aristocratic manner was really a facade to hide an inner child, but what was it like to be in a relationship with Keith?

Annette gives us an intimate and brutally honest account of their turbulent, rollercoaster relationship during the last four years of Moon’s life. Annette describes her relationship with Keith as captivating, and she tells her story with remarkable honesty and grace. She delves deep into the many sides of Moon’s personality, including his wild behaviour, his alcohol and drug abuse, and his uncontrollable anxiety and anger. But she also highlights his genius as a musician, kind heart, romantic gestures and his incredible talent as a drummer.

Throughout the book, Annette takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of their relationship. She describes their passionate love affair, their fights and arguments, and the constant struggles that they faced as Moon’s addiction spiralled out of control. But despite all the difficulties, it’s undoubtedly clear that Annette remained fiercely devoted to Moon until the very end.

Since Keith’s death, Annette has devoted a large part of her life to working in the caring profession, specialising in psychotherapy. Which is slightly ironic when you learn about her lived experiences with Keith and his bizarre and unhinged behaviour in front and away from the cameras. The book is told in her own words in an interview style form after a series of conversations held over several months in 2018 and 2019 with Spencer brown.

Annette Walter-Lax & Keith moon – Getty Images

Her insights into Moon’s life, extravagant over the top behaviour and often unwavering persona are captivating to read, but in many ways her descriptions of her life with him are disturbing and heartbreaking. The book paints a picture and gives a unique insightful look into the story of one of Britains greatest and most misunderstood rock legends. Annette also explores Keith Moon’s possible multiple mental disorders, which she says he tried to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which made him often challenging to be around. Overall, Annette speaks highly of Keith despite the dark times they faced together. A standout of this is how she describes his romantic side and the heartfelt love letters between them both.

In the opening pages of the book Annette describes their intense love and care for each other and describes her time with Keith as a wild ride. She cherishes there laughter and the shared moments of deep connection. Throughout she mentions how much she tried to help Keith battle his demons, but it’s clear she wished that she knew what was really going on inside his head, so she could help him.

Overall, The Last Four Years: A Rock Noir Romance is a must-read for any fan of The Who or Keith Moon. Annette’s memoirs and the interviews with Spencer brown that make up the book is a poignant and powerful tribute to one of rock’s most unfathomable and beloved drummers, but also an upsetting, unforgettable read about a man who struggled to battle his demons, addictions and mental turmoil.

I was lucky enough to have a brief conversation with Annette in 2019 at the time of the books release, which resulted in her sending me a signed copy, I wrote this review a short time after reading it but until now I haven’t felt confident enough to share it.

Buy The Book on Amazon HERE

Read our review of The Who – My Generation HERE

A book by Annette Walter-Lax & Spencer Brown

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