Hellhounds Handbook: Every Town Needs A Mad Scientist

Can you name the mad scientist in your town?

You can’t?

Well Asheville, North Carolina, definitely had a mad scientist, and his name was Bob Moog. Old black and white photos show the man in his youth, hair disheveled, transistors and diodes and wires hanging all around his laboratory. He was inventing a new way to make sound. Many people probably thought Moog was crazy. But that type of feedback never affects a mad scientist. They just continue on with their work.

Moog died in 2005, but he left a large mark on the recording industry and pop culture and the world. You’ve probably heard his invention, the Moog Synthesizer, in your favorite rock music or horror movies.

Photo taken from MoogMusic.com

Bob Moog will be inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame on May 1, 2013. His patent was number 3,475,623, regarding Electronic High-Pass and Low-Pass Filters Employing the Base to Emitter Diode Resistance of Bi-Polar Transistors.

What does all that mean? I have no idea. Many people probably don’t.

But Moog Synthesizers made Kraftwerk rock in the 1970s and they still produce phat beats on Dr. Dre albums.

I promise. I will never use the word ‘phat’ again.

Moog meant a lot to the world. But he also meant a lot to Asheville, where he taught at the university, created, and died. Because every town needs a mad scientist, working in his laboratory late into the night, hermitted away in pursuit of a crazy idea, forgetting to comb his hair and eat proper meals.

Bob was definitely Asheville’s far-out genius. And we love him.

Congratulations Bob on making the Inventors Hall of Fame. You deserve it.

Now the search begins for Asheville’s next mad scientist. Those are some big shoes to fill.

Google created an awesome Doodle in honor of Bob Moog’s 78th birthday. Click here to play with an online version of a Moog synthesizer. It’s hours of fun.

Hellhounds Handbook is a new series created by Head Monster Jim for Multiverse Asheville. Stay tuned for more advice, straight from the Handbook’s fiery pages.


Jim MacKenzie is an amateur futurist on his way to guru-hood. He studied journalism and works in television. Jim writes for several blogs, including The Incredible Vanishing Paperweight and the satirical horror site StuffMonsterslike.com. Jim and his SML co-blogger, Sarah Giavedoni, have started a holiday, ticked off celebrities and tried to purchase the lunar surface. In his spare time, Jim likes listening to rock music, reading, giving away free books at his nonprofit "The POP Project" and trying to catch the real Thomas Wolfe Home arsonist.

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