We’re remembering the late Bob Moog, who would’ve turned 89 next week. Though the longtime Ashevillian died in 2005, his role as one of the pioneers of electronic music lives on forever. That’s true especially in Asheville, home of the Moog Factory, Moogseum, and UNC Asheville’s Bob Moog Electronic Music Studio.
You may already know that Moog invented the first commercial synthesizer back in 1964 — and that, subsequently, his invention transformed everything from rock and electronic to modern pop music. But we’ve got plenty of other interesting Moog history up our sleeves.
For instance, did you know that Moog moved his family to Asheville in 1978 after a charming stay at the Grove Park Inn? Once he moved to the 828, he joined the faculty at UNC Asheville, where he taught until retiring in 1993.
Also interesting: Asheville is the only place in the world where Moog synthesizers are made, with a process done by hand involving six people to build and test each product. Get more Moog history in this piece written by former AVLtoday Editor Ali McGhee.
Want to synthesize with fellow fans?
Asheville is celebrating the legacy of this iconic engineer with two events. You can also stop by the Moogseum and Moog Factory for a tour, anytime.
On Thursday, May 18 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., the Asheville Art Museum will host “American Art + Sound: An Evening of Innovators and Innovation.” The event will examine the intersection between visual art and electronic sound, with discussions on curated works from the museum’s collection and a live synthesizer performance.
And on Tuesday, May 23, the Moogseum will celebrate “Bob’s Electric Birthday” all-day long, kicking things off with special guided tours from the museum’s executive director Michelle Moog-Koussa, plus a special evening event with synthesizer pioneer and longtime Moog pal Dr. Patrick Gleeson.