Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Speedy Keen: Previous Convictions

Bud Scoppa, Rolling Stone, 2 August 1973

Knockabout drummer John "Speedy" Keen was rescued from oblivion by a perceptive Peter Townshend, who saw in Mr. Keen an offbeat but potentially compelling talent. Townshend put Keen together with a tiny, barely adolescent guitarist named Jimmy McCulloch and middle-aged postal clerk Andy Newman, whose piano style might have won him second or third place on Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour, and he named the decidedly motley assortment Thunderclap Newman. But as it turned out, the final vision came not from Townshend but from Keen. He wrote and sang the classic single 'Something in the Air', and his voice, songs and unmistakable charm turned Thunderclap Newman's lone album, Hollywood Dream, into what is surely the most intimate and touching work to come out of the largely overbearingly ambitious concept-album school of rock.

Total word count of piece: 594


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.