A Theremin salesman at 20 years old in 1954, Dr. Bob Moog eventually created the first modular synthesizer in 1963. One year later he began taking orders for his creation. Today’s “Google Doodle” is an interactive computer simulation of the “Mini Moog”, complete with a four-track “tape recorder”. You can click on the keys or use the top rows of your computer’s keyboard to play it.
Loads of bands have used Moog synthesizers in their records, including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes (Rick Wakeman famously bought his Moog at half-price, barely used, from actor Jack “H.R. Puffnstuf” Wild, who thought it defective as it only played one note at a time), Rush, and Emerson Lake and Palmer (Keith Emerson was the first performer to tour with one), although their popularity hit a fever pitch in the ’70s and ’80s. You can also hear the instrument on records by Blondie, David Bowie, Coldplay, Devo, The Beastie Boys, Duran Duran, The Cure, New Order, Prince, and of course Kraftwerk to name but a few.
In an interview during Moog Fest, appropriately located at the Moog factory in Asheville, North Carolina last November, Anthony Gonzales from M83 explained his fascination with the instrument. “I have a love for vintage synthesizers, and this is how it all started. My love of synthesizers is coming from my childhood. And since this moment, I’m obsessed with synthesizers because it looks beautiful and it has a sound of my childhood memories. I don’t think I can ever get rid of this. The history of the bands that played with Moog… they’re timeless.”
-Zack Nechvatal, WXRT/Chicago , Jay Tilles, and Scott Vanderpool CBS Local