How Roshanak Kheshti became the “Moogstress”

Roshanak Kheshti, author of Wendy Carlos’s Switched -On Bach, on how she discovered a Moog synthesizer in a record store back in the 90s.

Wendy Carlos’s Switched-On Bach is currently 30% off during our Holiday Sale, so make sure to grab yourself a copy before the sale ends December 15th!

The year was 1996. It was spring and time for a treasure hunt. I set out to scour every pawn shop in Indianapolis in search of a Moog. What are the odds, right? Best case scenario, I discover a dusty, cobweb shrouded hunk of plastic, metal and wood that the pawn shop owner had been dying to get off his hands; worse case scenario, I get some decent Indian food, peruse museums of the instruments, rings and powertools of the oppressed and call it a day. I had indeed neared that conclusion when my friend Pete and I wandered into Missing Link records. The day had been full and I had scoured enough shops having resolved that it was not my lucky day.

While Pete is purchasing a couple of Slits LPs I sarcastically ask the clerk if he knows where I can buy a Moog synthesizer. He closes the cash register and says “Hang on.” After mysteriously retreating to the back, he returns with a co-worker who says, “You looking for a Moog?” I say yes. He says, “I have a Moog and a Farfisa for sale.” After lifting my gaping chin off the counter, we arrange a meeting place and time.

That is the story of the beginning of my love affair and unrelenting passion for this instrument. I went on to play it in bands, touring across the US with it; I accumulated numerous brothers and sisters for it and assumed the nickname Moogstress as a result. The machine was the perfect toy for parallel play and made everyone who ever encountered it lean in to learn more. It was my transitional object as I transitioned from young adulthood to grown up to child, which is the persona it always put me back in touch with as an instrument of play.

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