John “Speedy” Keen

Speedy Keen (born John Keen, March 29, 1945 – March 12, 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.