In Memoriam: Robin Sylvester

Robin Sylvester

Today we share the sad news that Robin Sylvester, best known for his work with Bob Weir & RatDog, has died. A cause has not been confirmed, though a bio on his Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund notes he had kidney issues for many years.

Sylvester was born in London in 1950 but called the San Francisco Bay his home for over four decades. He began music with the acapella London Boy Singers when he was a child, eventually picking up the guitar. He was inspired by Paul McCartney to pick up the bass in the ‘60s and ‘70s, during which time he was working as a recording engineer at London studios like Abbey Road and Trident.

He moved to the States in 1976 after touring with Dana Gillespie, landing in Los Angeles after several years. There he worked as a hired gun to play for The Beach Boys, Ry Cooder, Mary Wells, The Drifters, Billy Preston, Christine McVie, and more.

Sylvester joined Bob Weir & RatDog in 2003 following the departure of Rob Wasserman. He stayed with the band through several evolutions, even after Wasserman’s return, but would miss many of the band’s shows in 2012 while waiting on a kidney transplant. The band became inactive after 2014, with Weir focusing on The Grateful Dead’s “Fare Thee Well” concerts and, subsequently, Dead & Company.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Robin Sylvester.

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