The Bob Moog Foundation has just kicked off another fundraising raffle, and this time, the prize is the most famous synth in history. Yep, it’s a vintage Minimoog, but it’s also a Minimoog that’s been signed by Rush bassist, vocalist and synth player Geddy Lee.
Fully restored, the synth in question has serial number 4070, and was built at Moog Music’s Williamsville, NY, USA factory on 14 Feb, 1974 (built with love, presumably, given that date). What’s more, it has Kevin Lightner’s Opto-Key upgrade - this replaces the original mechanical contacts with infrared light sensors, eliminating wear and the need for contact cleaning.
This useful modification also adds MIDI I/O - implemented discreetly so as to avoid holes in the chassis - and we’re assured that this Minimoog is in excellent technical condition, with just minor cosmetic flaws (think of them as adding character).
The synth was restored by technician Jareth Lackey of Synthpro Restorations and, due to its age, good condition and that Geddy Lee signature, has an estimated value of $10,000 and rising.
Geddy Lee, of course, has used the Minimoog extensively throughout his career, including on Rush tracks The Trees, Countdown, Xanadu and Tom Sawyer. “The Minimoog sets itself apart because it has a fat, identifiable tone. I really like that,” he says.
Lee is also keen to praise the cultural impact of the Minimoog’s creator: “Bob Moog’s legacy stands out as a pioneer, an inventor, and a stylist,” he acknowledges. “He helped initiate styles of music that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible without his contribution.”
"The Bob Moog Foundation is honoured to offer this rare Minimoog synthesizer signed by Geddy Lee,” added Executive Director Michelle Moog-Koussa. “Geddy’s distinctive and innovative use of the Minimoog and Moog Taurus Bass pedals was intrinsic to Rush’s early archetypal sound, and served as a hallmark of how those instruments could be artfully fused in a live setting. We are deeply grateful to Geddy for supporting our important work at the intersection of science, music, and innovation.”
Tickets for the raffle - which runs until 27 February or when all tickets have been sold - cost $25 each, or you can have five for $100, 12 for $200 or 35 for $500. Funds raised will be used to expand Dr Bob’s SoundSchool, the foundation’s educational project, which brings ‘the science of sound’ to students at elementary schools. They will also support the Moogseum, the Bob Museum that’s located in Asheville, NC.
You can grab your raffle tickets on the Bob Moog Foundation (opens in new tab) website.