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Google doodle has Chicago tie

Thousands, if not millions, have been sneaking to Google today to play "Iron Man" or "Smoke on the Water" on the replica synthesizer, but for one Chicago man and his family, the doodle represents much more than a cool feature.

Matt Moog—whose dad, Bob Moog, invented a synthesizer that revolutionized electronic music—said the doodle honoring what would be his father's 78th birthday brings Moog's legacy to the masses.

"My dad received a tremendous amount of press and attention over the years," said Moog, 42, of Lincoln Park. "But I think this one, quite honestly, kind of stands alone in its ability to reach, I think, billions of people on the Google home page."

The Google doodle featured a replica of a Moog synthesizer that allowed people to play and record music. By mid-day, hundreds of people had uploaded videos to YouTube of them playing songs on the doodle or teaching others how to play tunes. NPR challenged listeners to try to recreate their "All Things Considered" theme song using the synthesizer on Google. The doodle also drew attention to Moog's family, including Matt Moog, who says he's had several hundred people reach out.

"It's been pretty much nonstop between Twitter and Facebook, texts and email," he said. "It started last night, before the doodle was actually live in the United States."

Bob Moog, who died in 2005, spent his life as an engineer developing machinery for electronic musicians including the Moog synthesizer, one of the earliest such instruments in common use. His son, Matt Moog, lives in Chicago and is the CEO of product review web site viewpoints.com.

Moog said his dad was a humble man who "viewed himself as an engineer first and primarily a tool-maker for other musicians." Moog said his family, including his sister Michelle Moog-Koussa—who runs the Bob Moog Foundation and helped Google develop the doodle—is soaking up the fun today and the attention that's being drawn to their father's musical contributions.

"It's one of those things that just captured the imagination of people," he said. "This is such a cool day for him."

ggarvey@Tribune.com | @gcgarvey

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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