Rock guitarist dies after performance



A guitarist for a rock band was stricken shortly after finishing a set at a downtown bar early Sunday and then died of natural causes, according to the coroner’s office.

Matthew Smith, 28, the lead guitarist and founder of Marbles for Eyes, took ill a few minutes after his band finished its performance at 12:20 a.m. His bandmates took him outside for fresh air, where he collapsed and then lost consciousness.

An ambulance crew attempted to resuscitate him before taking him to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Smith, an Akron native, lived in Zanesville.

Marbles for Eyes was the opening act for The Zou, which canceled its performance out of respect for the deceased musician.

Mara Simon, owner of Cedars, was working at the bar when Smith collapsed.

“[Smith] had been complaining earlier that night that he wasn’t feeling well, but he still wanted to go on with the show,” said Simon. After the show, he was thirsty and his body temperature was very high, and he was complaining of a pain in his left arm, said Simon. He asked a bartender for a towel soaked in cold water.

A spokesman for the coroner’s office said Smith’s family has a long history of heart problems, adding that Smith was neither a drinker nor a smoker. Smith’s death is not suspicious, and there were no signs of foul play, said the spokesman, adding that an autopsy will be done today.

Friends and acquaintances had left numerous posts on Smith’s Facebook page as of Sunday night, mourning his death and recalling memories of him.

In his Facebook profile, Smith poignantly had posted the following quote by the late German artist Kathe Kollwitz:

“ I do not want to die ... until I have faithfully made the most of my talent and cultivated the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown.”

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