Longtime Grateful Dead sound engineer Bob Matthews dies
Bob matthews, the longtime sound engineer for the Grateful dead, died as confirmed on Saturday. Matthews worked alongside Betty Cantor-Jackson to record countless hours of live Grateful Dead concerts.
Originally a member of the Pre-Dead Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, Matthews continued to play bass in New Riders of Violet Sage next to Jerry Garcia, David Nelson, and more. Matthews can also be heard on a cover of “Accidentally Like A Martyr” on the Jerry Garcia box set, All the good stuff.
But it’s not what fans heard from Matthews that made him so prolific, but it’s what he hinted at fans of The Dead. Following his death, Bob weir called Matthews “our first roadie – first employee, although his salary is not much more than the free entry and the gasoline money to get himself and our gear at the concert.”
Matthews and Cantor-Jackson, known simply as the Bob & Betty duo, artists of their own rite, have crafted many Grateful Dead live albums, including Live / Death, Europe ’72, Grateful dead (a.k.a Skull & Roses), and more. His work is not limited to live performances either, as he has also contributed to Aoxomoxoa, Dead worker, Blues for Allah, Garcia, Ace, and much more.
In 2004, Bob and Betty reunited for the first time in 25 years to record Black Star Orchestra at San Francisco Fillmore Auditorium on May 8, 2004, later published under the name Living at the Fillmore. More recently, Matthews has been a key part of The Good Old Grateful Deadcast, providing a new historical context behind the Grateful Dead albums with hosts Rich mahan and Jesse jarnow.
“I have always sought out and appreciated his take on how the music and the band developed,” Weir wrote on social media. “He became our * recorder * – a word I hadn’t heard at that time and really haven’t heard since.” Years later it has found success in an area of telecommunications that I have yet to understand. The next world that awaits us will be more efficient and sound better now. Bob Voyage, Vaya con Dios, Bob Matthews.
Bob was there at the start; he even did a stint in the jug band – we used to practice with him (people) at first. He was our first roadie – first employee, although his salary was not much more than the free entry and the money for gasoline to procure himself and our equipment for the concert. pic.twitter.com/geUdrUiF1Y
– Bobby Weir (@BobWeir) September 25, 2021
RIP Bob Matthews.