‘I would have given anything not to have joined’: Kenney Jones remembers his time with the Who

Though he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year as a member of the Small Faces and Faces, for a time beginning in the late 1970s Kenney Jones was best known as drummer for the Who.

Not that he was similarly glorified, having taken over for the much-beloved Keith Moon.

Jones, today, says he understands the reservations that fans — and even frontman Roger Daltrey — had about the move. He agrees that there was simply no replacing the band’s acrobatic founding drummer, who died in 1978.

“I would have given anything not to have joined the Who,” Jones says in this video, “because I would have given anything for Moonie to still be there. “There is only one drummer for the Who — and that’s Keith Moon. And that’s the way it will always be.”

Jones played with the Who from 1979-88, appearing on the Who albums Face Dances and It’s Hard, along with (ironically enough) the soundtrack for Daltrey’s solo film McVicar. Jones was part of the Who’s set at Live Aid, and made a final appearance with the group at a ceremony for the British Phonographic Industry, where the band earned lifetime achievement recognition.

“I did enjoy the opportunity,” Jones adds. “It was different, it was great. It was exciting. The Small Faces was the most creative band I’ve ever been in, the Faces was the most fun, and the Who — I have to say — was the most exciting.”

Simon Phillips took over for Jones in time for the Who’s 1989 reunion tour. Zak Starkey, son of the Beatles’ Ringo Starr, succeeded Phillips.

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