Rock Legend Mike Matthews B.S. '62, MBA '66

Event Date:

Event Time:
6:00 pm

Club Programs

Mike Matthews is a true renaissance man, and an amazing example of what a Cornell mind can do. As an electrical engineer, he has been published in Scientific American. As a musician, he has played with artists such as the Isley Brothers, Chuck Berry, and Jimi Hendrix. As an entrepreneur, he founded a company that literally changed -- and after 50 years, continues to change -- the sound of rock and roll.

Mike Matthews will discuss his company's journey from its early success in the 1960s, bankruptcy in 1984, and comeback in the 1990s. He will go over his time at Cornell University promoting many famous Rock and Roll bands such as The Lovin' Spoonful, Byrds, Young Rascals, Chuck Berry, Coasters, Drifters, and Shirelles. He will also share stories about his close friend Jimi Hendrix.

Founded in 1968 with $1,000 when Mike Matthews quit his job at IBM to build fuzz pedals, Electro-Harmonix has become one of the most influential brands in guitar effects pedals with music revolutionizing products including the Big Muff and LBP-1 (boost). Overcoming obstacles during his career such as bankruptcy, labor racketeers in the U.S.A, Russian mobsters, Chinese intellectual pirates, Mike Matthews' rock and roll business currently sells hundreds of products that have been used by notable artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, The White Stripe's Jack White, U2's The Edge, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Primus, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Queens of the Stone Age. Mike Matthews graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1962 and a MBA from the Johnson School of Management in 1966.

6:00pm reception; 6:30pm lecture, gratis. Members and one guest per member are invited to dine at The Club with Mr. Matthews following the lecture. The cost is $45 per person, inclusive of tax, service charge, and one glass of wine with dinner. Dinner reservations are required 48 hours prior to the program.