Matt Ryd was one of those guys. He was always smiling, always helping. He was an incredibly talented musician, a giving and thorough producer. Impressions of his YouTube videos number in the millions. You might have heard one of his songs on the hit sitcom "Scrubs". He was deeply involved in the Chicago music scene and made an impact on anyone and everyone who knew him. He's someone who made a difference, someone you remember.
On August 4 of this year, after years of struggling with eating disorders, anxiety, and depression, he ended his own life. I used to think that suicide was the ultimate in selfish acts. Now, because of Matt, I think that maybe I'm the one being selfish. I still want him around, as does everyone whose life he touched.
I had the pleasure of meeting Matt years ago. We used to feature local bands on The Local Tourist each week, and Matt Ryd and his All Stars were part of the first (and only, to date) TLT Showcase. The concert, which took place at the Elbo Room, also featured local musicians David Kav, Jeff Churchwell and his band Left Turn at Albuquerque, Jeff Brown, and Cobalt & The Hired Guns.
That same line-up, minus Matt, performed last night at a fundraiser at Uncommon Ground, 3800 N Clark St. The charity concert raised money for NEDA, National Eating Disorders Association, and ANAD, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, which is out of Naperville. Matt's last wish was that his friends and supporters would help support these two organizations, to help support others like him.
The fundraiser continues tonight. Beginning at 9 p.m. you can see Duck & Goose, Laura Green, Xoe Wise, and Jess Godwin. Your $10 suggested donation goes directly to NEDA and ANAD. Whether you knew Matt or not, stop by and be treated to some great music. I'll be there. Hope you will be, too.
Check out this fun video of Matt's "For So Long". Matt, you are missed.