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|Birth name||John David Percy Keen|
29 March 1945|
Ealing, London, England United Kingdom
|Died||12 March 2002(aged 56)|
|Occupations||Musician, Songwriter, Producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, drums, guitar Hammond organ, keyboards|
|Labels||Track, Island, Roadrunner, Cleopatra|
|Associated acts||The Who, Thunderclap Newman, Motörhead|
Speedy Keen (born John Keen, 29 March 1945, died 12 March 2002), was a songwriter, vocalist, drummer and keyboard player, best known for his association with the rock band Thunderclap Newman. He wrote "Something in the Air" (1969) for the band, which reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart.
Keen was born in Ealing, London. Before joining Thunderclap Newman, Keen shared a flat with and worked as a chauffeur for Pete Townshend of The Who. He is famous among fans of The Who for writing "Armenia City in the Sky" which was included on the album The Who Sell Out (1967). This was the only song The Who ever performed that was specifically written for the group by a non-member. "Armenia City in the Sky" was, apparently, inspired by a long-lost painting back in the 1960s. His first recorded song, however, was the "Club of Lights" Reaction single by Oscar. He wrote "Something in the Air", his most well-known song, for Thunderclap Newman and recorded two solo albums for Track and Island both of which have been released on CD recently by Esoteric (Cherry Red). "I Promise You" from the second album was used in the American TV series, The Big C. Keen was later a record producer for The Heartbreakers and Motörhead.
As a session musician Keen played for others such as, Rod Stewart, The Mission and Kenny G. He also provided music for television advertisements and television programmes such as The Zoo. As a writer, apart from "Something In The Air", he wrote songs for Oscar ("Club of Lights"), The Swinging Blue Jeans ("Something's Coming Along") and Crokodile Tears ("Your Love").
- The Guardian obituaries - accessed July 2013