Posted by: Jody Glynn Patrick | 12/04/2014

Our Children: Matthew James Webster, 31

Matthew James

Matthew James Webster

Kailua Kona, Hawaii (March 2, 2009) Premier Guitar is saddened to learn that Matthew James “Matt Blaze” Webster of Kailua Kona, Hawaii has lost his battle with addiction at age 31.

Born January 22, 1978, Matt was the only child of legendary guitar builder Buddy Blaze and his wife Joyce. Along with his parents, Matt was a resident of Kona for the past three years where he often helped Buddy and Joyce construct their instruments. Previous to moving to Hawaii’s Big Island, Matt lived in Visalia, California. Matt is survived by his parents and his eight-year-old son Evan Zachary Webster, the namesake of the Evanator guitar built by Buddy.

Webster had battled substance abuse problems for several years but had been making progress in recent months. Well-known and well-liked in the tight-knit community of guitar builders and players, Webster’s death came as a shock to the musicians whom he had befriended over the years.

That was an obituary, a summation in 100 words or so of a young father’s life, but it doesn’t express how Matthew’s father felt when he found him collapsed in the bathroom in their home, where Matt had come after another attempt to detox. It doesn’t express how deeply the parents and Matthew’s young child grieved. The rest of the family rallied around Buddy and Joyce and then they went back home and Buddy and Joyce continued wondering why, why, why… and how they could go on. I know this because cousin Buddy called me for answers, wanting a mentor in the art of grief. All I could say was that he could and would do it, day by day, sometimes second by second, not because he wanted to, but because he needed to for his grandson — Matt would never have wanted anyone to suffer as they were — and to remain present for his wife.

Matt traveled with many legendary bands, primarily thanks to his father’s work in the industry with rockers such as Stevie Nicks and others. That was a bond they shared and memories that will last Buddy’s lifetime. But my heart goes out to both Buddy and Joyce, as they rebuild their lives now in Texas, and so I post this in honor of Matthew in celebration of the rest of the story — of his laughter and generous spirit and talent — for my cousin Buddy, in remembrance of his only child.  jody


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