Bob Moog’s Legacy Changed My Life and I Know it Can Continue to Inspire Generations to Come
By Kenn Florell
I remember creeping into my older brother’s room sometime in the late 1960’s, pushing the power button of his Wollensak reel-to-reel tape player, and being transported…even as a pre-adolescent boy, I could tell this was something very special…unique…but I didn’t know it would affect my life and the lives of many others so profoundly. The tape was a recording of Wendy Carlos’ Switched-On Bach. Many current musicians will tell you that this single album was a major influence in their awareness of the synthesizer, and specifically, the Moog synthesizer.
Bob Moog is unquestionably the preeminent name associated with synthesizers, and his innovations that so captivated generations of musicians and fans continue to influence modern sound. When Bob passed away five year ago, many tributes appeared in print and online. I remember one in particular, among the many stories of incidental meetings, personal reflections, and heartfelt thanks. I am heavily paraphrasing, but it went something like
“Think about it. In the 1960’s, there were few sources of synthetic sound in the world. Since Bob, we are surrounded by evidence of his genius—every PC sound, each car notification chime, every cell phone ring tone, just about every studio recording , all use sounds whose source can be traced to Bob’s pioneering work.”
Bob never made millions of dollars from his inventions, but he influenced millions of people worldwide.
I was one of them.
Bob’s creations allow me to explore sound, and indeed the world in which these sounds resonate, in ways that are difficult to explain but easy to understand. His instruments speak to me and they allow a freedom of creativity that only a masterpiece of instrumentation can achieve. Even though I live in North Carolina and have owned several Moog products since the 1970’s, I never met Bob. I wish I had. But I am influenced by what he did nearly every day of my life! And I am thankful for what he did.
The Bob Moog Foundation is doing important work with its MoogLab educational program and with its preservation efforts, including preserving and restoring reel-to- reel tapes from Bob’s archives. I cannot imagine the implications of losing any of this material—what if none of us had heard Switched on Bach all those years ago?
I deeply believe in the Foundation’s goals and their mission to ignite creativity at the intersection of music, science, history and innovation. They are spearheading work that is historic and of profound importance. I deeply believe that the magic of Bob Moog ‘s legacy needs to be continually lifted and passed to a new generation. Bob’s legacy changed my life and I know that it can continue to inspire generations to come…and that is why I give generously each year to the Bob Moog Foundation.
The Bob Moog Foundation is a donor driven 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Please join me in supporting them in their tireless efforts to change people’s lives much like Bob did himself. Donate here.
With the Bob Moog Foundation’s help, kids around the country could be hearing a Moog synth for the very first time…
Southern Pines, NC