R.I.P.: Grateful Dead Sound Engineer Bob Matthews

September 26, 2021
R.I.P.: Grateful Dead Sound Engineer Bob Matthews

Photo via @JerryGarcia on IG

On Sept. 25, news broke of the passing of former Grateful Dead engineer and “first roadie” Bob Matthews.

“Bob was there at the beginning; he even did a stint in the jug band – we used to practice at his (folks’) house in the early days,” Bob Weir recalled via social media. “He was our first roadie – first employee, though his wages amounted to not much more than free entry & gas money to get himself & our gear to the gig.”

Later, as an engineer, Matthews contributed to some of the Grateful Dead’s most iconic releases, from Live/Dead to Garcia to Europe ‘72, Skull & Roses and Workingman’s Dead.

He was also a member of Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions.

“I always sought & valued his views on how the music & the band were developing,” Weir continued. “He went on to become our *recordist* – a word I hadn’t yet heard at that point & really haven’t heard since. In later years he went on to success in a telecommunications field I have yet to understand. The next world that awaits us all will be more efficient and sound better now. Bob Voyage, Vaya con Dios, Bob Matthews.”