Matthew Sperry

All of the Matthew-related posts have been moved to, which was set up just after his death. All further memorial information on Matthew will be posted there. If you are looking for the original announcement with the hundreds of amazing comments remembering Matthew, it now lives here (and is still accepting new comments).

244 Replies to “Matthew Sperry”

  1. my heart, shattered to pieces is being warmed by the sentiments on this site. i want to thank you for posting here and for everyone who spoke and played at the service. i’m so in need of community right now and i’m trying to learn to reach out the way matthew did. please stop by my house this week. i’m sitting shiva (like an open house) until sunday. even if i dont get a chance to really talk to you when you are here it comforts me that you are present. we all need to grieve together, supporting each other-its how matthew would have wanted it. much love-stacia and lila

  2. Hi…I just really wanted to thank everyone..I mean everyone who has loved my little brother and has taken time to write such incredible thoughts and feelings here for all to read. I also want to thank all the incredible wonderful people whom I met over the last few days…people who have come up to me and my family and have embraced us with their open heavy hearts…people who have taken care of Stacia and lila…people who will always be there for My Family. I cannot express the overwhelming joy of love and hugs…through all my sadness, thanks to all of you…I am able to understand more about my brother and more about myself. I am so unbelievably sad, my grief at sometimes, uncontrollable. I have so many memories from baby, to boyhood, to teenager to man and every one of them wonderful in its own special way. Being his sister meant being his rock, yet he somehow found a way to take over that position and become mine. My husband and I just got home from an 8 hour drive (from Oakland) and I just could not wait to get online and read and write and thank and share. I have more I’d like to share, but I am shaky and tired and want to collect my thoughts. I do want to ask a favor of anyone out there who may have some video or photo footage of my brother, or of any music recording they may want to share with me and my family. I am not only the auntie to Lila, but a mother to Madison, matt’s neice and want so much to share more of Matthew’s life and love of music with these children. I regret terribly not taking my daughter to see Hedwig last month when I went and want to have something more for her as well as other members of our family. She just started to play guitar and I as well as her, was looking so forward to having Matt somehow guide her through….what can I say…perhaps he still can…I hope he can…I know it is possible. I love knowing how much he touched so many people..i love knowing and continuing to find out how much he was loved. I loved him …..i love him. I love you Stacia…you make him shine even more and my sweet luscious Lila…you are an you little face I am able to see your dada’s future….thank you Stacia for giving us all that and more…thank you for making Matthew the happiest man on this planet…you will be my sister forever. If anyone should have anything they want to share with me I can be reached at….I just wanted everyone to know how grateful I am to you.
    love , peace and big matthew hugs to all of you.
    be careful out there
    love, matt’s big sis

  3. Oh Stacia, sweetie! If you are strong enough to post here, how can I dare do less? I miss him. I miss you, though having hugged you mere hours ago. People kept asking me this weekend, “how did you know Matthew?” What to say? In one word: “well.” And in so many more words…how to describe the interweavings of the last twelve years? Of your life and his life and my life and the lives of our friends?

    I knew him well. I knew him well…Always, always here and there and everywhere for you!

    Love, Scott

  4. I only had the opportunity to meet Matthew briefly when he visited his mother in Colorado a few years ago. Even on first meeting him, you could sense the wonderful spirit he possessed. Harriet, his mom, speaks so often of all her kids and grandchildren that many of us that work with her feel we know the whole family. Hearing the news of Matthew’s passing last Thursday was truly devastating.

    After reading all the beautiful tributes on this site, it is evident that Matthew was a very special man. If the world was full of Matthew’s…imagine… what a wonderful earth this would be. All of us should follow Matthew’s lead in being loving, giving, spirited and just… being like Matthew!

    My love and prayers go out to all who know and love Matthew and his family.

  5. I knew Matthew through his cousin Marna. From the very first moment that I met him, I felt like he accepted me into his life like a family member… and it felt really good to be a part of his family. We went out to dinner after his Letterman performance with Tom Waits. As a fellow bassist, I think we hit it off quickly and I definitely felt a secret spiritual kinship that can only be shared between bass players.

    Marna and I stayed with Stacia, Lila and Matthew for a few days last summer. One morning, before Marna and Stacia were awake, Matthew made some scrambled eggs, which he, Lila and I all shared. In complete silence, we ate right off the plate with our hands (which I think was Lila’s preferred eating method at the time). It was one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever witnessed and/or participated in. It may have been just a father and a daughter sharing some food, but there was something magical about the silence and the look of understanding Matthew and Lila shared as they ate.

    After seeing him perform in Hedwig last December, he gave Marna and I a ride back to our hotel. I told him how much I had enjoyed the show, but how uncomfortable I was due to the fact that my Dad had just had to have heart bypass surgery. Matthew couldn’t have been more compassionate. But in addition to just listening, he also shared an experience he had and injected some much-needed humor into the story too.

    To me, that what Matthew was all about: he didn’t just listen (although he was great at it), but he cared about what I was saying and tried his best to relate to it, no matter how familiar he was with the experience. And while he was doing that, he knew how to make you feel good too. No wonder he was such a great bass player!!

    Wherever he is right now, I think he is giving all of us one of his trademark giant bear hugs, squeezing us all soooo tightly and bringing us all closer together.

    Thanks, man!

  6. I am heart broken. Matthew shines. At Uncle Bob’s wedding, I sat at the same table with Matthew and Stacia and I remember talking about how important it was for us to keep the family glued since we were the next generation of Cousins. I wish I had the opportunity to spend more time with him and Stacia over the last couple of years. My whole family is in my thoughts… all the people who were connected to Matthew, it breaks my heart. I am deeply sorry for his loss.
    Love, (Cousin) Elke

  7. I remember a yuletide party at Scot’s where Matthew came laden w/ CDs (“the charlotte mix”) he had burned as presents. I was touched to receive one and when I heard it I was simply blown away.

    Until Matthew, I had never met anyone else who listened to Burmese Orchestral Music, first introduced to me by a mysterious woman I met on a seemingly endless Amtrak journey from the Northwest.

    So much else besides! I had never heard such sounds in my life. Hans Reichel’s bowed voices, Dinastia Hidalguense’s Mexican Huastecos, and Jaap Blonk (!?!!?). Of course, there was a piece from Matthew, the evocatively titled “taking of the oyster bra”. I never took the opportunity to properly express my appreciation, nor ask, who in the world is Wu Wen’ Guang?

    Who has such big ears? My gosh!

    Walking through Julia Morgan’s
    Chapel of the Chimes’ Columbarium
    after the memorial

    the array of gardens
    and fountains
    stairwells and cloisters
    stained glass
    and light

    is so very beautiful

    and the many urns shaped
    like great copper books
    room after room
    of vaulted majesty

    a feeling of endlessness
    like out of an unwritten
    Borges story:

    “upward beyond
    the onstreaming
    it sunned”


  8. Margit here, in Brooklyn. I came back from Oakland late last night. The chance to meet so many of Matt and Stacia’s family and loved ones and to be a part of the ritual of the funeral has been impressively moving. I’m getting yet another piece of the lessons to be learned from the incredibly elusive and painful truth of matt in his death. They were so obvious, those lessons, in my admiration and constant learning in his living. So now, death.

    I keep on thinking of Matt’s particular brilliant goofiness and freakdom. It came out in word games and all the places he loved to share and a forever clear and unique point of view. His art was pervasive, and therefore always will be, through the eternal flame of memory and shared stories.

    Yesterday, in Oakland, I dove through some old letters and upturned this, an excerpt from one that he wrote upon return from a month-long residency on the Olympic Peninsula. In it, he addressed me as “Bhagvad Margeeta” and the “Galanter Gourmet,” and upon reading this yesterday, transfixed at the humor and heart, i was granted some new tags. Whatta guy!
    Here’s the quote:

    “Can I say enough good things about my time at Fort Warden? Probably not. It was an entirely useful experience. I’m deciding right now on a theory, like so: You can accelerate the pace at which you gain experience or absorb knowledge, but not without a price. That price is the slowing down, the atrophy, of some other aspect of your existence. This consequence is neither wrong nor right, i would think. The devil is not lurking in the afterlife: the devil is TIME. A finite system of credit we must use up on a very strict schedule, whether we want to or not…”

    much love

  9. Matthew,

    Perhaps the one memory that stands out in my mind is the first time I met you at Ontario, the smile on your face as you and Stacia walked towards me followed by the much talked about hug. No introduction was necessary.

    It seems in such a short time I have so many memories of you, several experienced but many hundreds more spoken of so proudly by Estee. I could never feel more proud than when you called and simply said “hey brother-in-law”. It means so much to be part of your family. Although Estee is deeply saddened, you can rest knowing that I will take good care of her Matthew.

    Your brother-in-law

  10. Just when I think I am finishing with the tears, more memories of Mathew surface and there they are again, as unpredictable in their timing as the quarky creativity of his personality and the many ways he gave. I just found a very old letter addressed to: LEMON MALICE R.N. (my name rearranged)


  11. Dear Matthew,
    This is your Aunt Sheila. I just returned from California. My heart is broken. You are loved by so many people. I went to your funeral. It was the most beautiful service. You would be very proud of your Mom. She knew how much you loved the Chapel of the Chimes. I understand why. The music was incredible! She loves you so much. She adores Stacia and Lilah. Matthew, I know you are still here in spirit. Please watch over your Mom. She needs you.
    We will never forget you,

    From delusion lead me to truth
    From darkness lead me to light
    From death lead me to eternal light
    Hindu prayer
    Love forever Aunt Sheila

  12. I am still struggling to come to terms with the loss of Matthew and wish I had been in town to attend the memorial service. I didn’t know him very well or for very long, but the time we spent together was always good. I am very thankful for those times, whether it was free improvisation at Myles’ studio in Oakland or waiting around Letterman’s freezing studio in New York talking about our kids.

    I wish he was still with us: Pocahontas hair, dresses, what a beautiful sound, what a great life force.

    Our warmest healing thoughts to Stacia and Lila. If there is anything Diarmid and I can do to help, please let us know.

  13. My dear sweet baby brother Matthew,

    I’m writing this letter to you, to tell you how much having you in my life has meant to me. Seeing you last month and spending time together was so joyous for me. I love just hanging out with you, and talking, and laughing …

    You have always been so easy to talk to about everything, it’s so easy being myself around you, you make it easy.

    I loved sharing my new talent for massage with you, which by the way, it is thanks to you and Stacia’s inspiration that I was able to make it through massage school. It was pure pleasure for me to see your satisfied smile while I got your chi flowing. You have always been so supportive of me. I have always been a “giver” with the hardest time feeling worthy of “receiving”, yet with you, I was always able to embrace YOUR GIFTS, your love, support, tenderness, caring … the ALL that is you.

    Whenever I look into my Madison’s eyes, I see you, her Uncle Matthew. She is so much like you, so creative and musical, so giving and full of love and life. I only wish she could spend more time with you, more time to be mentored by you.

    Matt, you always make me feel loved. I am the proudest sister ever. I am in constant awe of you, always gloating. I feel young with you. You make me a better person. Whenever I am around you, I feel shiny, I feel so happy after we talk on the telephone or if I read a letter or get a tape from you. You will always be perfection to me. You also have the ability to neutralize me whenever I feel irrational. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be your sister. Your friend. I cherish everything, every time, everywhere that is You.

    I cannot, I will not let you go from my life. You will never be from my thoughts or my heart. I will always be there for you, and Stacia and Lila, my family.

    As usual your big sister is rambling on and not able to end this conversation. I guess you gotta go now.

    I love you Matthew. Thank you for everything, your hugs and smiles are way awesome! I love and miss you sooooooo much. See you soon cutie.

    Love, your Big Sis Estee

  14. Matt and I had a very nice trio together with Ed Pias here in Seattle during the early 90s. I loved playing with him; he was a great player, sensitive, with his own strong voice and I really enjoyed both his openness toward exploring new music as well as his down-to-earth attitude of just have fun with a groove. That was an expression of his personality, open, generous, exploratory and rooted in companionship with friends. My heart and prayers are with you, his family.

  15. We met last night (tuesday) at 9:30 at Volunteer Park in Seattle. How many do you think? About thirty? Some lit candles which shone brighter as the night sky darkened. Lots and LOTS of stories. Photos of Matthew (I never saw the one of him naked with a frog before!). Some comforting silences. A little ambient salsa coming over the resevoir from a distance, and lots of airplanes overhead. Then Susie brought out her kelp horns and hum bows and the police chased us off around midnight. I met some new folks and saw some old friends. Some joined us in spirit from afar—Montana, Vancouver, Ashland. Lots of love for Matt, Stacia and Lila, and even some for the driver of the truck, may she, too, heal.

  16. After going to the wonderful service on Monday and reading these insightful, moving posts, I am inspired to provide my own “snapshot” of Matthew Sperry, human being extraordinaire.

    I knew Matthew for thirteen years and for this I feel very lucky. When I met Matt, we were amused to find out that we were born a week apart and shared the same middle name. Soon, I learned we had much more in common than that. Matt became one of my best friends and I will think of him every day, as always.

    When I think of Matt, I see him in motion; he had an incredible amount of energy and joie de vive. When I would visit Oakland to see him, Stacia and Lila, I would return home with a warm buzz that would last for days. I called him “Monkey Boy” because he reminded me of a baby monkey I saw once at a zoo – zooming around, leaping on the other monkeys and making everyone laugh and feel joy for how alive a creature could be. After hanging out with Matt and Stacia when they first got together, I thought “Monkey Boy has found Monkey Girl!” and I was so happy for them (now there is Lila, the mini monkey).

    Though he was working full-time, married, had a new baby and new house, he continued to play his bass. This inspired me to keep painting, even when I felt like giving up. I remember going to museums with Matt and having to literally drag him away from works of art. I really think he would have stood there all day. Matt’s love of all of the arts reminded me of how important creativity is.

    Matt introduced me to incredible music. When I met Matt, he was horrified to learn that I didn’t know who Charles Mingus was. Well, I’ve certainly made up for lost time and I’m not going to admit how many cds that Phil and I own. Matt introduced me to Ornette Coleman, Erik Satie, Tsuruta Kinshi and reminded me how much I like Kool and the Gang. Going to see Matthew perform was no less than a life-changing event and helped create my own obsession with music.

    Matt also made it O.K. to be obsessed with food. We had so many great meals – falafel at Falafel King in L.A., the world’s tallest lemon meringue pie at the Rascal House in Miami, Native American bread made of blue corn and sheep’s brains in New Mexico, North Carolina barbeque (the woman at the counter laughed when she saw how much skinny Matt could put away). I mostly think of the last dinner we had at his house – catfish with a lime fish sauce, shared among friends.

    I know these words have barely captured Matthew or what he meant to me, but I think it’s important to share our memories at this time. I never wanted to say this – Goodbye Monkey Boy.

  17. What the heart has once owned and had, it shall never lose.
    —Henry Ward Beecher

    We send our deepest sympathies. We just heard today from Erica.

  18. Many of Matthew’s friends and family are trying to determine what happened the day Matthew died. If you are someone who was an eyewitness or know of someone who was an eyewitness at the scene (or who was driving by) on the morning of June 5th, please ask them to call (510) 594-8270 or e-mail at If you visit the memorial site and talk to people from the neighborhood, please get their names and phone numbers if they were eyewitnesses when Matthew got hit. Right now, no eyewitnesses have come forward and the family is struggling to piece together rumors, etc. It would be so helpful to the family to identify at least one person who saw what actually happened.

    Thanks to all – Julie Silas

  19. Dearest Stacia and Lila…

    By keeping beautiful Mathew in the light….he’s not gone…he’s everywhere…..



  20. I only had the pleasure of meeting Matthew twice – I wish it could have been more. He was an adventurous musical spirit who played music honestly, openly and with grace, qualities he so obviously embodied within himself after he put his bass down too. We are honored to be associated with him and his work through the release of 12 Milagritos. Our heartfelt condolences to his familiy, friends and the Bay Area musical community: all have lost someone precious.

  21. There’s were a fair number of stories about Matthew and soup at the funeral on Monday. Here’s mine:

    Stacia and CJ and I were putting together another one of our multi-religious Easter/Passover feasts. Matt came with all the makings of matzoh ball soup. He was frustrated though, because his matzoh balls kept sinking. He said his grandmother’s matzohs always floated. So he called her up and asked her what her secret was. She told him “just add a little baking soda.” His voice went up in disbelief and he said “but it’s PASSOVER” and she said “well, otherwise they sink.” He hung up looking like he’d just been told there was no…(wait…Jews don’t do Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny…)..ah! no Tooth Fairy. It was so funny to hear him go on in the kitchen muttering “add baking soda – harumph”.

    My other wonderful food memory with Matthew was a Thanksgiving at our apartment in Olympia. Matt and Christie showed up with a huge bowl of mashed potatoes. Purple. Purple potatoes look really scary mashed and whipped. Kinda cool too, but that’s probably the Deadhead in me talking.

    Comfort food will take on a whole new meaning for me: matzoh ball soup and purple mashed potatoes.

  22. although I heard Matthew play music on many occasions and even played on the same stage with him a few times, I only had the pleasure of a few conversations with him, but on these occasions I felt instantly that he was very deeply a KIND person.

    my heart goes out to his family, wife and daughter, and friends in this tragedy.

    I was very moved by the many heartfelt words and musical communications at the memorial service.

    peace to you.

  23. My heartfelt sympathies to Stacia, Lila, and Matthew’s extended family. No parent should have to bear the sadness of outliving a child. Matthew was a good friend to my daughter; he and Stacia were there when she needed help and Rachel said she truly loved Matthew and his goodness. I was fortunate to have met Matthew and his family and the radiance surrounding him was obvious. He will live on in Lila, but that is such a small comfort. I am so sad for all of you who have lost a dear and extraordinary friend. Rachel’s mom

  24. Good gracious there’s a lot of entertaining to account for.

    I knew Matt in Seattle mostly near the end of both our stays there. He and I had some duet, many too few, duet interactions (me dancing and very inspired), he introduced me to pearl noodles -and I loved his voice! At the moment, it is just the texture of his voice that comes to me with the most force. It was, to me, sing-song syrupy over a fine grain coarseness, playful, wallowing in the muck, searching for a direct connection or just a ride.

    Matt was a beacon for me, too, of cariño, simple joyfulness, sharp creativity and explosive sharing. A beautiful beuatiful person. He introduced me to the awesome woman who actually unglued him from his Seattle life. Stacia, for what little we knew each other meeting you was a wonderful time for me. You both so thickly enthroned our interactions with charms of affection and open minds.

    So, for a bunch of years, inside me, you have both had cushy chairs with open windows on my stuffing (oh, what a treat!). And you are always there, sitting and giggling or bouncing and frowning. And I’ve been helping myself to a stacia laugh with long-armed hug or a cheezy-hearted matt telling me again ‘thank you, sweetie’ just for passing the salt –whenever I want! I’m sorry, I guess you guys didn’t even know.

    Good bye, Matt. Thank you, sweetie. I zoned to his music a few times..i mean it carried me or we went together there. One never knows, but I shared being delivered. That was only beginning to know him.

    Something else that will stay is a certain edge he wielded -of annoyance I felt once, surprisingly and ashamedly, listening to him play. It annoyed me until I ended-up respecting its labor of love along with its edge that carved away in all directions. I had recently built a non-musician’s bridge between him and Jimmy Garrison (playing in Japan with Coltrane in 1966). But this time his creativity was completely unforgiving of a form that I could grasp. It ate concept. It refused to be extruded into even that loose, I thought, form of a bridge. My ears crashed against the relentlessness of change and I had to understand that I couldn’t understand, but only listen. A truly great place to be. Just one of his facets.

    On Monday June 9, I memorialized my favorite subway escalator The Matt Sperry Ascension, because it seems to be built as an instrument with a Sperry edge, as if the metal casing were too small for the mechanism inside, which scrapes and groans and bangs as you ascend from under the earth.

    So here I am 3 years in Spain. Anyone else here from the Matthew Sperry hug diaspora? Europe? I want to organize or be part of a musical event dedicated to matt here in Barcelona. MUSIC FOR SWEETIE. Spread the wealth of his inspiration. I am not a musician, but have a place where the concert and or rehearsals could happen. If anyone reading this is in my area of the world or knows a Matt-sweetie who is, please contact me for a hug, coffee and getting down to the music:

    Ben Warren
    650-794-045 (movil phone)

  25. I first saw Matthew perform a long time ago in Vancouver in ,I think, 1995 or earlier at a late night show at Studio 16. Whenever he played around Seattle I tried to go out to see him. He improved each time. I saw him at: The OK Hotel, Speakeasy, some bar across from the Comet Tavern, On the Boards and other venues. The last time I saw him, he had come up to Seattle to play and his wife had just had a child – I think he mentioned to me that he had gone to Germany with Trimpin.

    I am really sorry to hear that he was killed in an traffic accident. He was one of the most talented and innovative musicians I have ever seen perform.

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the memorial to be held Sunday because I’ll leave for Vancouver that day to work on this year’s Jazz Festival.

    I’ll let the people who he worked with in Vancouver know – (ie Francois Houle and Peggy Lee ).

    He is already missed.

  26. I met Matthew while going to Hedwig every weekend. The first show we went to, we saw some guy laughing out in the lobby, in the most ridiculous outfit I have ever seen. So we wandered to stand next to him, and eavesdropped our way into finding out he was a cast member. He was the first person to come onstage that night, and his smirk at the audience is my first memory of the show. I got to talk to Matt a couple times, and offstage, he was always smiling. A big, silly smile that just implied mischief. Matt’s rocking out at Hedwig is one of my favorite memories, and my heart goes out to his family and friends.

  27. I feel very lucky to have known Matt for 21 years. I saw him last just a few months ago. We stood in a downtown park at dusk and watched our kids play. I hadn’t seen him in such a long time and I told him how incredibly happy I was to be with him. He responded with a hug and it was a moment of perfect joy of being with my friend. I have thought about that moment a lot over the last week, and of all the ways that our lives have intersected over the years. After not seeing Matt for so long, that visit felt like a reconnection. I am so shocked and saddened to realize that it was actually a final goodbye.

    Oseh shalom beem’roh’mahv, hoo ya’aseh shalom, aleynu v’al kohl yisrael v’eemru: Amein

  28. Dear Stacia:
    I am so sorry I never got to know Matt better, just a couple of brief encounters at Steve & Dan’s (and Breitenbush??) but enough to have glimpsed the beautiful spirit everyone has written about. The thing I remember best about him is how much you loved him. You once went on about him through an entire massage exchange – I would normally have been annoyed, but I was just inspired your connection with him. My thoughts are with you and Lila.

  29. Dear Stacia, Lila, Family and Friends of Dear Matthew Sperry,

    I have had the priviledge, over only the last two years, of meeting, talking with, and playing and enjoying music together with Matthew. When I heard the news via email from a mutual friend last Friday, I was immediately chilled to the bone, shaken, and in true disbelief. Though Matthew and I have had only a handful of conversations together over recent years, I was so mortally saddened by the news.

    I had the pleasure of playing one time last November with Matthew and Colin Stetson at some hidden bar in S.F., and we all had a blast. I also had several chances to enjoy playing with Matthew through Dan Plonsey’s and Moe!’s ensembles. Matthew was always so supportive and thoughtful. He was free with compliments, though he deserves so many himself, and he was always on the lookout for his fellow musicians — He had called me several times to let me know of various openings here and there. I distinctly thought of him spontaneously recently, and was worried that I had not had a chance to tell him how much I appreciated his thinking of me, and wished I could return the favor soon.

    Matthew was the kind of person who, though being an impeccably skilled artist, had absolutely no agenda or scheme of hoops for people to jump through before he would give you all of his consideration and attention. That calm, smiling face was real, and it was immediately for you, setting you at ease, whoever you were standing in front of him. All this, and I was even more pleased to learn of his goofy side — not just observing his performance attire (such as the sequin-ish dress he wore for the “Jazz at Yoshi’s” Plonsey concert last September), but also reading of his various exploits herein this memorial. It all serves to leave me wanting to see him again, hear him play again, and consider myself lucky should I get to play along with him.

    At this strange, maybe not so cheery time in politics-and-such when I, and I’m sure others may be assessing or searching for a stable “sense of community” and belonging, I must say Matthew has reminded me that in fact, there are real feelings of community which run so unexpectedly deep within our artistic relationships. Thank you, Matthew, for reminding me how lucky I am to be here and to know such wonderful people as yourself.

    I’ll miss you, and wish you happiness and fulfillment wherever you are, and peace of mind and security for Lila and Stacia.

    Mike Pukish

  30. I read several of the previous postings and it amazes me how many lives he touched.

    I know Matt from Seattle when he played with the iv bricoleurs and Black Cat Orchestra. Every time I arrived at a venue where he was playing, he always made a point to say hello with a deep sincere smile and we’d chat. I’ve never known such a sweet mellow guy to have such strong opinions.

    He was one of these blessed persons who had the gift of living life to the fullest in following his dreams. My heart goes out to Stacia and Lila. I will never forget him.

  31. Dear Stacia,Lila,Harriet, Pris, Gil,Estee,Sam, Bill,Randal and Kelly. The list goes on farther than I could ever know. I am so sorry for our families devastation. It is impossible to fathom how death can come so quickly to someone who seemed to have so much left to give. Everytime I think of Mathew I can only picture him with a huge grin. Im honored to have been married into his family. The way he affected and touched so many lives, either with music or friendship, he will be alive in us always. Im so sorry I couldnt be with all of you. I heard it was a magical event exactly the way Mathew would have wanted.I love you all, Stacey Barnum

  32. Stacia –

    Wow. I can’t believe this. I only spoke with Matthew a few times. We met because we were going to use him for a show last year. He had said that he would have a problem making the rehearsals but that if we were really stuck and it came down to it that he would do it anyway. I was kinda blown away by that kindness he showed to us – total strangers. His demo had been so good and when he came over and was SUCH a sweet person and so kind. It really struck me that here was a person who embodied many of the finest qualities in people. I couldn’t believe it when I heard this news. I kept thinking – wrong Matt Sperry – he’s too young.

    I am SO sorry about your loss. Such a wonderful and considerate human being and I can’t help but wish that I had known him better.



  33. To Family and Friends of Matthew;
    I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am.
    I did not have the good fortune of ever meeting Matthew (I sure wish I would have)
    but I hear many wonderful stories about Matthew from his sister Estee. Estee always has wonderful, kind and loving words to say about her brother Matthew.I remember how proud Estee was of Matthew when he was on the David Letterman Show – She was so excited she brought the video tape of the show and shared it with my 2nd grade class.
    She was so very proud.
    Stacia and Lila my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Kind Hearts are the gardens;
    kind thoughts are the roots;
    kind words are the flowers;
    kind deeds are the fruits.
    (English Proverb)

  34. Matthew Sperry is a light shining from out of the darkness. The path of esoteric music is undefined, uneven. Sperry is the only one I’ve ever met who illuminated this path. He was able to piece things together in a way I would not have dreamed possible. For showing me this possibility, I will always be indebted. I love this man and will continue to do so forever. I go forth for the rest of my days fueled by Sperry power.

  35. Dear Family and friends of Matthew:

    My sincere sympathies in the loss of Matthew. Although I hadn’t seen him in years, he grew up next door. It seems that a really nice kid grew into a wonderful man. You all are in my prayers.

    Glenda Goff
    Miami, FL

  36. I met Matthew once back in 1997, and still remember sitting on the floor of his small apartment in Seattle until 4 AM listening to records, drinking tea and chatting enthusiastically.

    Even though my time with Matthew was brief, it is very clear that the world has lost one of the good ones.

  37. bassoonist sara schoenbeck, flutist ellen burr, vancouver bassist travis baker and i will be dedicating our june19 performance at pollstar in seattle to matthew. wish we could be in the bay area for what will surely be a beautiful memorial concert.

  38. I will remember Matthew’s generous creative spirit. I will remember his love of the music, and those, like him (like us) who believe in it.

  39. What very sad news, and what very moving reading. Matt lived on the next block from me in 1995, up on Capitol Hill, and was always strikingly welcoming, enthusiastic, inclusive; one of those people who remind you, with a grand glint, that you exist. His warmth was at home and flourishing in every kind of music. On a bike, hit by a car; horrible yes, but also a saintly death in our epoch. Lonely are the brave.

  40. Wow…awful to hear this. Matthew was an encouraging collaborator and sweet individual. We all will miss his beautiful spirit.

  41. i remember matt very well- he was one of the finest bass players ever in my opinion to come out of the united states-i have had the pleassure of not just knowing matt(although we had little contact after leaving seattle)but also working with and recording with matt.his pressence will surely be missed in a society that is becoming more and more pop oriented day by day-matt was truley a rare bird indeed!-

  42. Dear Stacia,
    I recall, seven years ago, when you and Laura and I were living in the house you and Matthew later came to buy from psycho Wanda. I remember you fed me all the time, and we talked for hour upon hour. And I remember meeting Matthew for the first time, and I was delighted by his spirit, and soothed and calmed by his presence. He was such a surprise to me, too, that he was not only an artist, but he was good with tools, and I remember laughing to myself when we were working on a project together… because I didn’t expect that from him, and I loved that mixture he had of gentle and wise.He made me feel at ease from the first moment he stepped foot in our flat. And then came Lila, and she brought out even more of that spirit that was felt by everyone he came in contact with. Stacia, I am thinking of you and Lila-
    If you need anything, I am here. Love, Jenn

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