“Moogseum” will honor
the legacy of the electronics pioneer while showcasing his works and archives
for the public.
By Fred Mills
When BLURT launched nearly a year ago, one of our
first-published articles was about the work of the recently established Bob
Moog Foundation, based in Asheville
(where the Moog plant is located). Titled “Moog In Vogue,” it outlined the
legacy of the late synthesizer inventor and electronic music pioneer Dr. Robert
“Bob” Moog, and the efforts of his daughter, Michelle Moog-Koussa, to restore
and preserve his archives, which included a vast collection of writings,
irreplaceable memorabilia, and prototypes of many of Moog’s vintage
Even more significant: reel-to-reel tapes, which upon their
discovery after Moog’s death in 2005 were found to be covered in mold and in
varying states of deterioration. The Foundation got a pair of grants from the
Grammy Foundation to work on the restoration and preservation of those tapes.
The Foundation has also become active in setting up
scholarships for musicians and designing outreach programs to get kids in
schools interested in “science, music and creativity,” as Moog-Koussa put it.
No less a Moog fan than the Smashing Pumpkins also got involved, speaking out
on behalf of the Foundation and its principles.
“I strongly believe many people all over the world would
benefit from being able to interact with the thoughts, ideas, inventions, and
life of Dr. Moog,” said Corgan, in a message on the Moog Foundation website, www.moogfoundation.org.
Now those thoughts, ideas and inventions will gain further
preservation and exposure with the establishment of a Moog Museum.
According to a report in today’s Asheville
Citizen-Times, the so-called “Moogseum” is being planned thanks to a
$600,000 grant from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. A total
of $3 million is needed to bring the project to full fruition, Moog-Koussa told
the newspaper, who added that it may take three to five years for everything to
be completed. Plans are for a 6000-square-foot facility, presumably to be
located in the French Broad River Arts District not far from the downtown area
Meanwhile, plans are to establish a smaller, 1500-square foot
“beta” museum this summer along with a companion installation at local rock
venue the Orange Peel in order to help keep interest high in the project, which
is expected to become a major attraction not only for tourists to the area but
for musical scholars worldwide.
And that’s the important part of course. Imagine a world
without, say, Radiohead. Or MGMT. Or Aphex Twin. Or Nine Inch Nails. Or
Suicide. Or Silver Apples. Or even Abbey Road. (Or hell, even without Emerson Lake
& Palmer.) The musical landscape circa 2009 would be a vastly different
place – and a far less interesting one, at that – had it not been for Dr. Moog.
[Photo courtesy the Bob Moog Foundation]