All images courtesy The Bob Moog Foundation. Used by permission. Go visit them, and enjoy many more.

Moog made the scene, indeed. In this birthday week for Bob Moog, here’s a gallery looking back at the man and in advertisements, the Minimoog, the keyboard that shaped so much of synthesis to this day.

I could say more, but the images already say so much. Indeed, it seems we’re long overdue for a resurrection of this kind of romance with synthesis and electronic music technology. As I’m also editing remembrances of Max Mathews – a digital counterpart to Moog’s analog breakthroughs – I’d love to have someone do an image like the one on top for Max.

These images are also a reminder of how important the Bob Moog Foundation Archives are. Aside from being the source of these images, BMFA are working hard to get an accurate historical record of Moog and his circle. Moog’s legacy can easily be a catalyst for better understanding all early electronic music history, particularly in the US. Their work is essential and deserves our support:

The Bob Moog Foundation

The Foundation this week unearths an essay from 1951, as Moog writes – for college admission purposes – about what had already impacted his interest in science and learning, at age 17. Thank the Bronx High School of Science, for one.

I’ll let the rest of the images speak for themselves:

I’m actually fascinated to learn more about the history of the Sonic V – partly because I remain interested in educationally-focused synths. Anyone with background on this, would love to hear; I’ll try doing some research with the Foundation Archives.

With composer Herb Deutsch, 1963.

Playing the Rochester (NY) Planetarium.
Supporting the Foundation

All photos courtesy the Bob Moog Foundation Archives, without whom so much of this history would simply be lost.

For more birthday wishes:

Synthtopia asks what you would tell Bob Moog if he were still alive.

Moog Music, via engineer Steve Dunnington, plays happy birthday for him on the instruments of his creation:

And here’s the history of the Minimoog I wrote for Keyboard Magazine last year, in which I sung one unsung hero at R.A. Moog, engineer Bill Hemsath.

Keyboard: The Minimoog at 40, and How A Legend Emerged from Spare Parts Bins

  • Thanks for such a beautiful post on Robert Moog. We at Delos are very proud to have worked with him on our releases in the past. He has such great stories. Here's one of our favorites from when he was the producer on our album "The Art of The Theremin" &nbsp ;

  • Kim

    The "Moog makes the scene" Graphics are cool. Now all I have to do to have moog toast is buy this item and download those 70s pics so I can have 70s Moog Toast. 🙂

  • Microwave Prince

    I'm sick of this moog religion……

  • Random Chance

    It might be hero worship (but then again, hero worship like nostalgia can lead people down the path of actually learning about the history, doing some research and coming up with new insights), but it's certainly not a religion. After all, Moog was not a carpenter. 😀

  • sam

    Moogfest was kind of a joke, I didn't see moogs on any of the stages. Even the workshops were light on content. It might not be a religion but it sure is a heavy marketing scene.

    These are cool to see though, especially the one from 1963 with Herbert Deutsch.

  • Randy

    I have all sorts of respect for Bob Moog and his work but I find the products the Moog company is releasing now-a-days to be over-priced with little to offer above other products other than the Moog name.

  • Peter Kirn

    You're entitled to your opinion of Moog Music's current product lineup – just to be clear, the Bob Moog Foundation is not affiliated with Moog Music. The Foundation is a 501c3 organization; Moog Music is a private company that sells products. The Foundation was founded by the family after Moog's death.

    This is just some cool vintage photos I happened to like. But at least some of the people celebrating Bob Moog are his a) family or b) people who knew or even worked with him directly, people in the field whose work was directly influenced by his.

    Let's be absolutely clear: that's not a religion, and it's not hero worship. It's a wonderful thing that a handful of people have had such an enormous impact on the trajectory of this field. If I only ever covered Bob Moog, that'd be narrow-minded of me, but then you have to read what I write. As I said, I'm working now on finally editing memories people sent in on Max Mathews. Part of the effort at Moog is to highlight the team that worked on the Minimoog. I could go on…

  • Jno

    Thanks so much for the memorabilia. Bob Moog was definitely one of the most influential product designers/technologists of his time. He also was just a nice person. He deserves the recognition that he is receiving. Whether you loved his products or not he really was part of the synthesizer revolution that took place in the 60's and 70's. I definitely felt his impact in my career.

  • Randy

    Thanks for the clarification Peter. Just to be clear on what I wrote, and I thought the first sentence was enough, I agree with Jno.

  • kconnor9000

    I /need/ a poster quality scan of this one:

    I don't know if it's a circuit or a musical debugging scene, but I can relate. Bob as Clint Eastwood. "OK, circuit. We can make this easy, or we can do it the hard way"

  • TJ

    Religion no. Appreciation of a fantastic engineer who turned decades of promise into a reality (a quality, not a cheesy, one) (albeit, at first an expensive one that left most of us with our noses pressed against the cold store window–like Collins Radio and HP), yes.

    If someone made a t-shirt that said BOB CHANGED EVERYTHING! or MOOG LIVES! with that Minimoog poster background on it, I'd wear it anywhere.

    If it has a picture of Bob on it, it should be looking down toward the shoes of the person viewing it.