9.25.2018

DETROIT ROCK PHOTOGRAPHER ROBERT MATHEU DIED


Sad news tonight, the Original Detroit Rock photographer Robert Matheu passed away suddenly September 21, 2018. Details are still pending and we will update this tribute as soon as possible.

Heather Harris Los Angeles Rock Photographer graciously wrote this tribute to Bob for DRNRM tonight...

Robert Matheu, Ron Sobol and Kurt Ingham photo Heather Harris

My colleague, photographer Robert Matheu passed away September 21, 2018 at the house of a friend. He leaves a wife and his three young daughters that everyone who even vaguely encountered Robert knew were the light of his life.

Robert Matheu's photography career includes hundreds of album and magazine covers worldwide. Bob had photographs in PLAYBOY, ROLLING STONE, CREEM, LIFE, TIME, MOJO, MELODY MAKER, HARPERS, VOGUE and THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.

The MC5 Olympia Arena Robert Matheu

He was a documentarian and tour photographer for Iggy and The Stooges, tour photographer for Brian Wilson, photographer of memorable shots, live and studio of George Harrison, Johnny Cash, MC5, The Rolling Stones, The Pretenders, The Clash, Cheap Trick, Patti Smith, Adam Ant, the Stray Cats, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, The Faces, The Who...(whew, out of breath) and so on and so on and continued from 1969 through 2018.

Fred Sonic Smith with Iggy and Sonics Rendezvous Band phot Robert Matheu

His two books of his own and others' photography were Creem: America's only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine by Robert Matheu and Brian J. Bowe, plus The Stooges: The Authorized And Illustrated Story, by Robert Matheu and Jeffrey Morgan.  The official Iggy Pop action figure is based upon a single photo that Robert took at the first reunion of Iggy and The Stooges with James Williamson, Scott Rock Action Asheton and Mike Watt, London, England, May 3rd, 2010.

Ron Asheton (The Stooges) and Niagara Detroit were two of Bob's friends

But even these myriad accomplishments sound a little dry considering whom I'm describing. One of the touchstone continuities of anyone who had anything to do with the Stooges, Robert was the everpresent reminder of the Stooges' Detroit roots, to which his enduring friendship with Iggy Pop was testimonial.

Robert began photographing at the Grande Ballroom and all those other legendary venues that hosted all those other legendary acts from 1969 on. His loyalty to his Detroit friends and clients was equally legendary.


Backstage at Iggy and The Stooges show at the Hollywood Palladium, December 1, 2011- Evita Corby, Robert Matheu, Allie Shields (daughter of Sabel Starr Shields.)

He always seemed to be in a great mood, loved to joke around with one and all, in the audience, in the photographer areas, backstage or just with fellow music fans.

My friend Evita Corby, who James Williamson's girlfriend in the 1970s reminded me of another side of jocular Robert though. When James was onstage, she said Robert was very protective of her, since young beauties like her were a magnet to too many creeps otherwise.

Live rock music, particularly the Detroit-spawned variety meant everything to him and it showed in his spectacular photos of all this city's greatest musicians, then spread his talent to artists worldwide, everywhere.  Rock music past and present has lost one of the good guys who cared passionately about what he shot. RIP Bob

-Heather Harris, 9/24/18

Robert Matheu Website
Robert Matheu Facebook

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What a sensitive, fine and fitting tribute to our friend. He will be missed.

Linda Barber Roach

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