June 2004. Rick Wakeman reports exclusively for Australian Musician on the wonderful Bob Moog 50th anniversary in New York. It was also Rick’s 55th birthday.
In 1954 Bob Moog put together the first synthesizer as we have come to understand them today.
(Thus 2004 being the 50th anniversary). Bob Moog is also 75 this year. The entrepreneur Charles Carlini
put together the idea of a MOOGFEST in New York to celebrate 50 years of the instrument that changed the
course of keyboards within so many genres of music from rock to classical and it’s amazing use in so many films.
Charles contacted many musicians whose lives and work have been touched by Bob Moog and a date was fixed for the event to honour Bob … May 18th … which just happened to also be my 55th birthday. Rehearsals were held on the 17th of May and the show took place at BB Kings on 42nd Street in New York the following day.
Somehow an amazing number of artists and acts managed to cram on the stage for both sound check and the performances which were very diverse and showed the wide range of music that the instrument has created.
Taking part, apart from myself, were NYC Reggae Collective, Jason Miles and Maximum Groove, Joe Gallivan and Graham Haynes, Bernie Worrell & DJ Logic, Suzanne Ciani, Pamela Kurstin, Deodato and Steve Molitz, Stanley Jordan, Keith Emerson and his band .
During my participation a huge birthday cake was brought on organized by Charles Carlini and it was delivered courtesy of a very scantily dressed young lady courtesy of my great friend Keith Emerson who also appeared on stage wearing a cape to play Happy Birthday .
All in all it was a very memorable evening and one likely to be repeated with other artists
around the world wherever possible. Already Spain, Italy and Switzerland have been earmarked.
Pix courtesy of Billy Burns.