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Producer Scott Mathews
Producer Scott Mathews surf side.
Scott Mathews
Born July 25, 1955(1955-07-25)
Sacramento, California, United States
Occupation Music Producer, Composer, Song Dr., Multi-Instrumentalist & Vocalist
Spouse(s) Kolleen Mathews
Children son, Wilson and daughter, Ava

Scott Mathews (born July 25, 1955 in Sacramento, California) is a multi-platinum selling music producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist.


Scott as Producer, Performer, Songwriter

Mathews has produced, arranged, writtens songs for, recorded with, and/or performed with, (alphabetically); The Beach Boys, The Blind Boys of Alabama, David Bowie, Zac Brown, Jimmy Buffett, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Ry Cooder, Robert Cray, Dick Dale, Dave Edmunds, Roky Erickson, John Fogerty, Jerry Garcia, Billy Gibbons, Sammy Hagar, John Hiatt, Herbie Hancock, George Harrison, John Lee Hooker, Chris Isaak, Mick Jagger, Jefferson Starship, Booker T. Jones, Patti Labelle, Huey Lewis, Nick Lowe, Steve Miller, Eddie Money, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, Aaron Neville, Roy Orbison, Steve Perry, Van Dyke Parks, The Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Raitt, Joey Ramone, Keith Richards, Todd Rundgren, Carlos Santana, Joe Satriani, Boz Scaggs, Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand, Trip Shakespeare (Semisonic), Allen Toussaint, The Tubes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Walsh, Bob Weir, Robin Williams, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Bobby Womack, Dwight Yoakam and Neil Young as well many other legendary artists.

Career Overview

At the age of nine, Mathews began writing songs, singing and playing a variety of different instruments and for several years played in various bands. By the age of 15, Mathews had performed at the Fillmore with Elvin Bishop and other San Francisco luminaries. When Mathews was 16, he left school to record at the Record Plant studio in Los Angeles for three weeks with his group which included Steve Perry, (who went on to become the lead singer of Journey). Perry never finished his vocals and the project was subsequently abandoned but during this time, Stevie Wonder used Scott's drums to write and record his masterpiece Superstition. After being inspired by this experience and the encouragement of The Bee Gees, Barry White, Steven Stills and some legendary studio musicians, Scott realized being a member of a band was not his calling and turned his attention to studio work.

Mathews first gained his entry into the music business by meeting San Francisco based songwriter Ron Nagle in 1973. The two of them built a small basement demo studio and began writing songs and recording demos that were 'blue prints' for how the actual records were to sound. These recordings caught the ear of Jack Nitzsche and Mathews played many different instruments on the multiple Academy Award winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Nitzsche brought more projects his way and in 1976, Mathews wrote songs and performed on the double platinum Barbra Streisand record, Streisand Superman as well as Glen Campbell's # 1 Southern Nights album.

Fresh from their success on 'Cuckoo's Nest', Mathews and Nagle worked on several more films providing music and sound design. Nagle had worked on The Exorcist prior to meeting Mathews and in 1977 the Exorcist director, William Friedkin signed the duo to do work on his next film Sorcerer which Friedkin considers his finest film but was overshadowed by the box office success of Star Wars. In the same year, Mathews produced his hero Roy Orbison for a national TV commercial then worked with Johnny Cash on a bigger campaign—earning both legends a much larger payday than they had seen in quite some time.

Mathews and Nagle wrote songs that sold in the millions for other artists so they turned their partnership into a 'band' project called The Durocs (named after a breed of pig with extremely large ears and testicles). The Durocs were signed to Capitol Records in 1978 and released an album that received five stars in Rolling Stone magazine and spawned some European hits including a cover of the Gene Pitney classic "It Hurts To Be In Love". After being told by Capitol's director of A&R that the band was expected to tour and should get more of a jazz sound in their music, Mathews and Nagle broke into a sales meeting being held by the president of the label, disrupting the proceedings with midgets blasting fanfare trumpets and squealing pigs running wild through the legs of the executives. The Durocs were unceremoniously dropped from the label shortly following the incident.

In 1979, Mathews began working in the studio with Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist and was honored to be given an offer to join the band, but turned it down because of his active career in production and his distaste for touring. Beach Boy Carl Wilson and Mathews remained close and wrote and recorded songs together for projects outside of The Beach Boys.

In 1980, Nagle and Mathews built their studio on the top of a hill overlooking all of San Francisco (The Pig Pen) and continued producing music for films for other artists, including John Hiatt's 1983 breakthrough, Riding With the King (the title song of which was based on a dream Mathews had while producing Hiatt and sold three million units in 2001 when B. B. King and Eric Clapton covered it). Around this time, Scott recorded a project with Gary Brooker called Lead Me to Water collaborating with Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Phil Collins.

Mathews and Nagle worked on the film Cat People in 1982. Their music and sound design for the film ended up being used on the soundtrack record with David Bowie and a new guitar slinger named Stevie Ray Vaughn and spawned a surprise hit single.

In 1983, Nagle and Mathews aided in production of Paul Kantner's Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra. The project featured Grace Slick and many members of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship. Legend has it, Paul Kantner threw his drink at the President of RCA for not agreeing to a promotion plan involving giving away Kantners' car (and RCA buying Kantner a new one). To no surprise the record was not promoted at all and remains a relatively unheard, cinematic production piece by Mathews and Nagle with fine vocals by The Turtles, otherwise known as Flo & Eddie.

During the mid '80s Nagle (a world-famous ceramic artist) began to turn more attention to his career in art while Mathews was in demand as a producer. One of Scott's production highlights of this period was an Elvis Costello gem called 'Sweetwater' featuring Jerry Garcia, Nick Lowe, Sammy Hagar, Bob Weir and members of Elvis Presley's TCB Band.

Finishing out the '80's, Mathews began working with Todd Rundgren (a mutual friend through The Tubes) on a series of recordings that led to two albums and a world tour. Mathews enjoyed the chance to get out of the studio and tour with Rundgren whom he greatly admired and called 'the male Carole King' due to Rundgrens' ballads from his early days. During this time Scott was asked by Ringo Starr to join Rundgren, Joe Walsh, Jack Bruce and other legendary rockers as a guest in his All-Starr Band.

The 1990s began with another hit record -- Dave Edmunds recorded Scott's song "Closer to the Flame" and it became a huge seller around the world. In the early '90s, Scott began producing John Wesley Harding for Sire Records, they also contributed to Just Say Roe, a pro-choice project with Madonna, David Byrne and many others. Throughout the whirlwind of studio activities in the 90s, Scott was able to work with many of his musical heroes including Keith Richards, Van Morrison, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray and Tiny Tim.

While writing and recording with Booker T. Jones in 1996 at the Plant Studios in Sausalito, Mathews met engineer Tom Luekens who was working full-time for Jones. When the project was done, Luekens contacted Mathews and let him know he was a free agent and from that moment on Luekens has been Mathews' chief engineer.

In 1997, Scott collaborated with Huey Lewis on songs for the film Wag the Dog in Scott's new studio in Marin County. Many other projects were recorded at this location but it was short lived, as Mathews felt it lacked the comfort, natural light, 'vibe' and sonic value of the original Pig Pen studio that Mathews had been striving for.

In 1998, Mathews' corporation Hit or Myth Productions purchased a split-level house on the edge of San Francisco Bay with views from every room and established a new, ultra private recording studio, TikiTown. Stocked with practically every musical instrument under the sun and all the creature comforts of a very nice home, it soon became a destination for artists from all over the world. Van Morrison immediately became a familiar face and even installed a gym for his use while working at TikiTown. Recently Mathews found out (for better or worse) that TikiTown was the home of a member of Journey when they were in their heyday.

Mathews enjoys staying in contact with his hero and mentor, Brian Wilson and in 2007 there was a reunion with Mathews and Al Jardine joining Brian Wilson on the historical final performance of Wilson's masterpiece Pet Sounds show at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland.

These days Mathews is dedicated to producing primarily emerging artists he discovers from all over the world. Recent projects at TikiTown include new artists from England, Australia, Ukraine, France, Austria, New Zealand, Canada and Iceland. With a passion for unique voices with honest, timeless songs that touch his 'monkey nerve', he is constantly looking for new talent to help build long-term careers.

Mathews says he has had the amazing opportunity to work and become friends with most of his musical heroes—but at this point, he is fiercely dedicated to getting the best NEW music made and heard.

Awards, Accolades and Cheese

Mathews has sustained a great amount of success throughout his musical career. His awards include several gold and platinum albums, some Academy Award winning film projects and many Grammy Award winning projects.

Mathews has been profiled in Rolling Stone, MOJO, Billboard, Guitar Player, Electronic Musician, Time magazine and the New York Times. In Rolling Stone magazine, Ben Fong-Torres referred to Mathews as a 'wunderkind,' and San Francisco Chronicle Senior Music Critic, Joel Selvin is on record stating, "Scott Mathews is the funniest, smartest, hippest, most talented musician I know."

With current combined sales of more than 14 million units, he continues to produce music as well as maintaining other active roles inside the ever changing music industry.

Teaching and Speaking

Mathews has taught classes at San Francisco State University on Songwriting, the Music Industry and Music Production and has lectured at UCLA, UC Berkeley, The Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Mills College, Ex'pression Center for New Media, and Foothill College.

Mathews is a frequent guest speaker at SXSW, the SanFran MusicTech Summit and the West Coast Songwriters Association Conference among others.

Film Projects

Mathews is co-Musical Supervisor and Music Producer on a film with two-time Academy Award-nominated director, Greg MacGillivray on the subject of surfing and surf culture as seen through the lens of Hollywood. Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, John Mius and others join a huge cast of A-list participants on camera.

In 2008 Mathews signed on as co-producer for a bio pic on the legendary musician Roky Erickson and now wonders if it will ever really happen.

As an actor, Mathews starred as Fluke Starbucker in the Star Wars parody, Hardware Wars from 1977, considered to be the most profitable short film of all time, grossing US$1,000,000 as compared to its paltry US$8,000 budget (a much better profit ratio than Star Wars itself). Mathews has never acted since claiming; "I peaked! I'm no longer ready for my close up. Call me one and done but I'm goin' out on top, baby."

Personal life

In 1991, Mathews married former model Mary Ezzell, children: Thomas Wilson, born in 1993, and Ava Grace, born in 1996. They live on Mt. Tamalpais in Mill Valley, Marin County, California.

Mathews is currently working with Partnerships for Change to organize charity benefit concerts to help impoverished nations around the world. For several years, Mathews was the Musical Director for benefit concerts for Thunder Road, a youth-oriented alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. Mathews is an important contributor to H.E.A.R., an organization dedicated to educating and protecting musicians' hearing. Mathews is a Musical Director for the Mill Valley Film Festival where projects have involved bringing together the most recorded musicians in history, The Wrecking Crew for their final live performance ever as well as directing an all-star gospel show featuring The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Under the heading of 'strictly for fun' outside of the studio, Mathews enjoys getting together with his musical pals and instigating impromptu shows and jams. Recent activities have included party people like; Bonnie Raitt, Chris Isaak, Sammy Hagar, Booker T., Dwight Yoakam, Billy Gibbons, Joe Satriani, Steve Miller and Al Jardine. His 'garage band from hell' that recently played on his 54th birthday consisted of; Jimmy Buffett, Mickey Hart, Zac Brown, Robbie Kreiger, Clint Black and (of course) the birthday boy.

References and sources

Scullatti, Gene - The Catalog of COOL, Warner Books 1982

Elliott, Brad - Surf's Up, The Beach Boys On Record 1961 - 1981, Pierian Press 1982

Stebbins, Jon - The Real Beach Boy, ECW Press

Selvin, Joel - Various articles in the San Francisco Chronicle, 1975 - 2003.

Bessler, Ian - Songwriter's Market, Writer's Digest Books, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008



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