This article in particular. Wood actually tries to explain, to the New Yorker audience, why Moon was awesome, and he largely succeeds. At times, of course, he sounds hopelessly dorky, as in this passage about John Bonham: "His superb but tightly limited breaks on the snare and his famously rapid double strokes on the bass drum are constantly played against the unvarying solidity of his high hat, which keeps a steady single beat throughout the bars." Which I think we can all agree is not what generally occurs to us while we're blasting Led Zep in the car.
But this passage about the Moon of "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Behind Blue Eyes" is right on the money:
...you can hear him do something that was instinctive, probably, but which is hardly ever done in ordinary rock drumming: breaking for a fill, Moon fails to stop at the obvious end of the musical phrase and continues with his rolling break, over the line and into the start of the next phrase. In poetry, this failure to stop at the end of the line, this challenge to metrical closure, this desire to get more in, is called enjambment. Moon is the drummer of enjambment.
For me, this playing is like an ideal sentence, a sentence I have always wanted to write and never quite had the confidence to do: a long, passionate onrush, formally controlled and joyously messy, propulsive but digressively self-interrupted, attired but dishevelled, careful and lawless, right and wrong.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I feel the same way. I think the connection, among writers of my generation (guys mostly, I think, but not entirely), between literary fiction and rock has gone largely unexplored; here, Wood is getting at the kind of controlled exuberance that I find most moving both in popular music and literature, and he manages to do so without coming off like a total dipshit. That is quite an accomplishment, in my book.