Emerson recalls free Moog bid

Keith Emerson has recalled his failed attempt to persuade Robert Moog to give him a giant Moog synthesizer for nothing.

Ahead of recording Emerson Lake and Palmer’s self-titled debut album in 1970, the keyboardist decided he wanted the recently-launched instrument to add to his arsenal.

Emerson says: “I thought, ‘I really need one of these.’ I got hold of the Moog company and I said, ‘I thought I might get one of these for free. I could promote this – I’ll endorse it.”

But he says the firm replied with a letter saying: “Thank you for your request, but first of all, the Moog synthesizer is not generally recommended for live stage use.

“Furthermore, if your request is that you want one for free, seeing as the Rolling Stones paid for theirs and the Beatles also paid for theirs, I see no reason why you shouldn’t pay for yours.”

Eventually he decided to hand over the cash. He says: “I forget how much it cost me but it was a lot of money, and I don’t think the rest of the band were that enthralled.

“But I made the right decision – because it did define the new way of sound. It opened up the possibilities of keyboards.”

Emerson recently revealed he was considering retirement as he approaches the age of 70.

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.