Mark Hockman Donates Rare Photos Featuring Emerson, Lake and Palmer & Bob Moog
Post by Brian Kehew, Historical Consultant to the Bob Moog Foundation Archive
All photos by Mark Hockman
Last year, at the opening weekend of our Waves of Inspiration: The Legacy of Moog exhibit at the Museum of Making Music, someone approached Michelle Moog-Koussa carrying a medium-sized box. He introduced himself as Greg Hockman, former Moog employee; he had brought some photos and paperwork to donate to the Bob Moog Foundation! Inside was a treasure-trove of things Moog-related. At first glance, some of it looked familiar, but certainly much was new to us, and worth further investigation. There were carousel trays of color slides, all difficult to see without proper projection or lighting, but full of gear and people we knew – and some we didn’t. Greg’s brother Mark was a serious and upcoming professional photographer in the early and mid ’70s, so many of the items were Mark’s photos, although Greg did provide a lot of his own as well. Luckily, Greg and Mark preserved and maintained their collection of Moog memories, and they are now sharing this historical material with us, through the Foundation.
Over the last year, we’ve made a concerted effort to organize this donation and incorporate it into the Archive. For this December newsletter, we’ve selected some highlights from it, to show you small examples of the Hockmans’ collection. Many of the photos showed great things – unknown to anyone outside of that inner Moog circle of 1971-74. So, to help gather our own information for future use and fill out the story of the Hockman collection, we spent some time establishing a connection with Greg and his brother Mark. As their story unfolds here, you’ll see examples of the nice bits of Moog history they’ve captured:
Greg Hockman had been a student at Lycoming College , and a fan of music and electronics, building their own tape-music lab (no synthesizers yet). Greg saw Bob Moog lecture at Penn State, and later met Bob walking the aisles at the NAMM Show in Chicago (the bi-annual convention where musical manufacturers hope to sell their instruments to music stores from across the nation). He asked Bob if there would be any opening for him to work at Moog, and was invited up to visit and interview. After a few such visits, Greg was hired, just as the small R.A.Moog company of the 1960s was sold to Bill Waytena of Musonics, October 1971. The new company “Moog/Musonics” was combining operations in Musonic’s large factory building in Williamsville, NY. Greg worked with the drivers who were moving all the product and equipment from Bob’s old location in Trumansburg.
He was trained on the synthesizers – the Minimoog had slowly begun to sell, and Musonics had their Sonic Five, soon to be redesigned as Moog’s Sonic Six. Greg’s assigned role was “Sales”, but he also picked up engineering and design practices at the factory, watching and later “stuffing” circuit board fulls of parts, and assembly of the final product. Still, it was a small company (only about 20 employees) so Greg often answered phones or made promotional lectures to colleges and schools. His territory was most of the NorthEast and upper MidWest, and he drove over 120,000 miles across 17 States in a little over one year. David VanKoevering was already selling the Minimoog to stores throughout the States, and Greg still had trouble “opening” new dealerships, as they felt a Minimoog synthesizer was too expensive and complicated.
Photographer Mark Hockman (Greg’s brother) came to visit at the Williamsville plant a few times, and took many great photos. The quality and character make them strong promotional and historic photos, even to this day. (One of Mark’s photos of Bob at his bench that has been often used for BMFA events; now we finally know the source of it!)
As sales rep for Moog, Greg met a lot of resistance from music store owners; they didn’t feel that customers would want synthesizers, and thought they might be too hard to understand. After dogged determination, he got the Moog line into key stores, like Manny’s Music and Sam Ash in NYC. These stores eventually sold to many of Moog’s major clients; Herbie Hancock, George Duke, The Who, Chick Corea, and countless others. At the end of their first year with Moog, Manny’s Music was selling 24 Minimoogs each month – the most successful dealer in the world. Records with the Moog modulars and the new Minimoog had begun to influence more and more people; they wanted the Moog sound, and the famous name and sound helped Moog survive against strong competitors like ARP, EML, Oberheim, and EMS.
One of Mark’s photo sessions shows Keith Emerson and his wife visiting the Moog factory, with Keith’s modular system in the workshop for a check-up. Greg and Rich Walborn (Keith’s Moog tech for the 1973/4 tour) meet with Bob and the employees.
As the company grew, Greg moved his family to Kalamazoo, MI. and concentrated sales effort in the midwest. After the sale to Norlin, Greg left Moog Music and started his own company (Systems and Technology in Music) which both taught synthesis and sold synthesizers. Mainly, they began designing and outfitting electronic music labs for several colleges and professional musicians with custom-built professional touring gear; hot-rodded Leslies, custom amplification, effects pedals, etc. Shortening the name, Greg started his own product line, Systech, creating stomp-box pedals that were ultra-high quality and are quite collectible today.
1974: The Systems and Technology in Music shop was the site of one of the photo shoots: for 2 days Bob Moog and Moog clinician/musician Roger Powell came to town. Roger gave a lecture/demo at the shop, and he and Bob posed with some of the very hip graphics on the walls there.
While in Kalamazoo, Greg arranged for a lecture and special television taping at the local college – Western Michigan University. They outfitted the stage with a colorful and decorative “Moog” background. Bob was interviewed and Roger gave a demo of the Moog modular/sequencer, the Minimoog (with Ribbon Controller), Sonic Six, and a small piano electrified with a pickup.
1972-74: Both Moog and Greg’s Systech team provided tech support for Keith Emerson’s Moog systems on tour, usually sending Richie Walborn out, with Greg assisting now and then. They even designed and built special amplification and custom mods for Greg Lake’s guitars and basses.
Greg and Mark came to Rich Stadium in Buffalo, NY with Bob Moog. Mark photographed soundcheck and the show. One of these photos, showing Bob and Keith in front of the Monster Moog, has been seen countless times since the early 1970s as a Moog publicity photo. Often accredited to other photographers, it’s certainly one of Mark Hockman’s photos. Mark and Greg took photos of many ELP shows, often getting detailed photos of the equipment – detailed in a way that has never before been seen. We’re hoping to do something very special with the ELP photos in the future, but for now, here’s a sneak preview of some of the pictures.
The donated collection of Greg and Mark Hoffman certainly has interest for most Moog/ELP fans, and it’s amazing that new materials are still out there to be found. We’re excited to have their things for future use, as well, for lectures, books, Moogfest, and newsletters like this. The Hockmans made this for their own memories, their own history – and it is – but sharing it with us certainly brings all of us closer to “being there” as they were. MANY THANKS to Greg and Mark Hockman for sharing this collection with us!
CALL TO ACTION:
If you’re a longtime Moog fan and have something of interest to donate, the Bob Moog Foundation Archive can use whatever you have – old newpaper reviews, vintage Keyboard magazines, Moog catalogs, photos from shows or college music studios, photos of your Moog/synthesizer rig, music you’ve written. These things can help us tell the story – keeping people interested will all facets of the Moog music world. With your permission, we can use the materials to teach people about the evolution of Electronic Music, and how the Moog Legacy still affects the world today. Be creative – and add your own history to the Foundation’s growing collection. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please help us keep Moog history alive for future generations. These photos and so much more from our archives will form the basis of our traveling exhibits and eventually our permanent exhibit at the future Moogseum. DONATE TODAY to help our preservation efforts.
Brian Kehew: Dec 1, 2010