BOB MOOG AND THE SYNTHESIZER REVOLUTION
A book to savour and return to
[an] absorbing new biography.... a towering tribute
[a Telegraph Editorial Pick]
"an inspiring read"
"A deep and comprehensive biography .... tells the full story, covering every up and down in a thoroughly entertaining, enjoyable read"
Engineering and Technology
"Jazz to Read By: Top seven recommended holiday books of 2022"
"My music book of the year is Albert Glinsky's wonderfully readable and informative biography, Switched On: Bob Moog and the Synthesizer Revolution"
“This is the first compete biography of Bob Moog, and it is entertaining and meticulously assembled, revealing an impressively detailed impression of the man and his life’s work. . . . Switched On provides insights into the electronic sound revolution by going deep into the technical, practical, and person details of one of the era’s most innovative and influential figures. This is surely destined to become an essential point of reference for scholars and researchers interested in the history of music technology.”
Technology and Culture
"The right biography at the right time .... [a] noteworthy book"
--Bryan Van Campen,
The Ithaca Times
"A thorough, absorbing dive .... [Glinsky's] ability to keep this massive show on the road, including various and sundry side trips, is impressive.... What will remain in the memory is an absorbing, inspiring, sometimes amusing portrait of one of the great innovators of the 20th century."
The Post and Courier
"Glinsky captures the pains and aspirations of getting Moog’s business off the ground through the passionate letters the young entrepreneur sent to friends and family…. the book delivers what is almost a masterclass in how 'not' to run a cottage industry."
"'Switched On' is a riveting account not just of the development of the synthesizer, but also a journey of the man. It intimately immerses readers into the life of the determined trailblazer and the subsequent struggles affiliated with creation and change."
Switched On makes a significant contribution to the history of American music in the 20th century.
Jamie Bernstein, author of
Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of
Growing Up Bernstein
Switched on is a
Suzanne Ciani, composer,
electronic music pioneer
Paints an amazing saga of a musical inventor who changed the music world.
Kyle Gann, music critic, author
Bob Moog. Iconic name, iconic man. His revolutionary instrument made it possible for me to find my true voice. I am forever thankful to him. And that’s why I’m very excited about Switched On for shining a light on this giant of musical history.
composer, keyboardist, and former member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra
A sonic literary triumph!
David Sax, author of
The Revenge of Analog
In Switched On, Albert Glinsky shows the character and brilliance of Bob Moog. Tracing Moog’s technical advances in close but accessible detail, Glinsky gives an enlightening view of one of the twentieth century’s most important musical innovators.
Ian Port, author of
The Birth of Loud:
Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the
That Shaped Rock ‘n’ Roll
The Moog synthesizer “bent the course of music forever,” Rolling Stone declared.
Bob Moog, the man who did that bending, was a lovable geek with Einstein hair and pocket protectors. He walked into history in 1964 when his homemade contraption unexpectedly became a sensation—suddenly everyone wanted a Moog. The Beatles, the Doors, the Byrds, and Stevie Wonder discovered his synthesizer, and it came to be featured in seminal film scores including Apocalypse Now and A Clockwork Orange. The Moog’s game-changing sounds saturated 60s counterculture and burst into the disco party in the 70s to set off the electronic dance music movement. Bob had singlehandedly founded the synth industry and become a star in the process.
But he was also going broke. Imitators copied his technology, the musicians’ union accused him of replacing live players, and Japanese competitors started overtaking his work. He struggled to hang on to his inventions, his business, and his very name. Bob’s story upends our notions of success and wealth, showing that the two don’t always go together.
In Switched On, author Albert Glinsky draws on exclusive access to Bob Moog’s personal archives and his probing interviews with Bob’s family and a multitude of associates for this first complete biography of the man and his work. Switched On takes the reader on a roller coaster ride at turns triumphant, heart-breaking, and frequently laugh-out- loud absurd—a nuanced trip through the public and private worlds of this legendary inventor who altered the course of music.