On August 21, 2006, one year to the day since Bob had passed away, the Bob Moog Foundation was formally launched. The organization went from a fund with a modest collection of donations to a 501 (c) (3) non-profit with a website and a campaign to help build infrastructure and projects. A phone line was installed in Michelle’s basement, who was at the time the Volunteer Director.
Early on the morning of the launch, when our first website went live, the phone rang and a deep, gentle voice left a message that began “Greetings on this very special day, my name is Doug Babb……….”. Little did we know on that day of the Foundation’s birth what many gifts Doug would have in store for us over the next five years.
Doug Babb is a musician and educator who was taught by Bob Moog’s friend, colleague, and avant- garde opera composer John Eaton at Indiana University. Through John, Doug met Bob Moog and later helped advise Bob on the parameters for a portable synth that Bob was working on with his team of engineers. This portable synth was later to become known as the Minimoog. Doug maintained a deep interest in everything Moog and in more recent years worked in a consultant’s capacity for Moog Music, Inc.
Doug reached out to us on that August day in 2006 to see how he could help. It wasn’t long after that we discovered that Doug’s vast knowledge of the Moog legacy could be of great service in helping us understand the huge archive that Bob had left behind. In 2006, the collection was still in Bob’s former workshop in the hills of western NC where it was succumbing to the effects of mold, time and small rodents.
Doug generously volunteered to travel down to Asheville, NC from Indiana to help sort through the archives and assist us determining the breadth of the collection, and to prioritize it. This was a long process, involving five separate visits extending over almost a year’s time, and scores of hours in moldy conditions sorting, prioritizing, re-boxing and transporting Bob’s archives to safety. A couple of times Doug worked with Michelle and a team of volunteers. The rest of the time, it was the quiet, dedicated work of the two of them that resulted in the initial salvation of the historic collection.
Here are some photos that Doug took of those early days sifting through the archives (photos copyright Douglas Babb 2011):
The archives have been safely stored for almost five years, but Doug’s contributions to our efforts continue. This summer, Doug drove down to Asheville once again to donate over 800 electronic music-related magazines, including Keyboard Magazine, Electronic Musician, Tape-Op, Sound on Sound and more to the Bob Moog Foundation Archives. This library of media will serve as a wonderful resource for students and researchers of electronic music history and will eventually be housed in the Moogseum. The Keyboard Magazines in particular include many articles written by Bob throughout the years.
Here is a sampling of the materials that Doug donated to the archives (Photos copyright the Bob Moog Foundation 2011):
Thank you Doug for your support and guidance in our work to protect and preserve Bob’s archives!