Robert Hunter, Lyricist of Many Grateful Dead Songs has Died

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In summary, Robert Hunter, lyricist and Jerry Garcia buddy, has recently died. He wrote the words of many of the Grateful Dead's most loved songs and was inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though he neither played nor sang with them. His favorite Dead song is "Casey Jones".
  • #1
BillTre
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Robert Hunter, lyricist and Jerry Garcia buddy has recently died (September 23, 2019).

He wrote the words of many of the Grateful Dead's most loved songs and was inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though he neither played nor sang with them.

NY Times reminiscence

Robert Hunter Wikipedia

These are some of my favorite Dead songs that he wrote:
  • "Althea"
  • "Box of Rain"
  • "Brokedown Palace"
  • "Casey Jones"
  • "Dark Star"
  • "Dire Wolf"
  • "Friend of the Devil"
  • "Ripple"
  • "Scarlet Begonias"
  • "St. Stephen"
  • "Sugar Magnolia"
  • "Touch of Grey"
  • "Uncle John's Band"
 
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  • #2
Two of my most favorite albums are "American Beauty" and the self-titled "Grateful Dead" double album that came out in '71. With regard to "American Beauty" I've read that Hunter and the band members were sequestered in a Paris hotel, working out the songs to make them as perfect as possible.
 
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  • #3
My favorite has always been "Workingman's Dead".
Other than hearing "Trucking" on the radio, I first ran into the Dead in my college dorm (a nest of hippie athletes) and first heard "Workingman's Dead" and the albums you mentioned there.
 
  • #4
I never saw them play live. I did see Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin's band) at a show at the Hollywood Bowl, probably in about '67. Grateful Dead, Jeff. Airplane, and Big Brother were probably the most prominent of the San Francisco bands in the late 60's.
 
  • #5
I was on the east coast a at the time.
At the time I saw them in the DC stadium with the Almond Brothers.
After, I moved to Oregon (mid 80's) I have seen then many times.
(Ken Kesey used to live in town.)
I even caught Jerry Garcia and a bass player do a show in a high school gym.
Never saw Janus or the Airplane unfortunately.
 
  • #6
My favorite Dead song along with "Workingman's Dead" album must be "Casey Jones".

"Trouble ahead. Trouble behind.​
Casey Jones you better watch your speed!"​
Whenever someone was driving too fast or moving too fast for conditions, we would say, "Hey Casey!" or "Casey Jones you better watch your speed!". Everyone knew the reference.

I saw Jefferson Airplane and Grace Slick perform too many times to count around the SF Bay Area. Santana, Three Dog Night and It's a Beautiful Day used to be lead-in bands for the Airplane, later Starship, and Jerry Garcia at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds and similar venues.

The Dead jammed whenever they were in town; at "Be Ins" in Kelly Park in San Jose and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, near the Haight during the day but also in far West GG park at 'Playland-by-the-Beach' and at the Family Dog come night. One could always tell when the tie-dyed Dead Heads were around. Count the vans parked on Geary. Tourists were oblivious to the local scene aside from Winterland, the Avalon and the Fillmore.

Tommy Smothers also hosted impromptu Dead concerts at and around the 'Hungry Eye', if memory serves. If you remember the Smothers Brothers act, Dickie was intelligent and Tommy played stupid. The reality was quite the opposite. Tommy was considered one of the smartest promoters after Bill Graham and an accomplished musician. Dickie was funnier in person and a bit of a head, as we said back then.
 
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  • #7
BillTre said:
At the time I saw them in the DC stadium with the Almond Brothers.

hey i was at that show too, summer 1973, right? went on till the early hours of the morning
 
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  • #8
gmax137 said:
hey i was at that show too, summer 1973, right? went on till the early hours of the morning
I believe that's right.
 
  • #9
BillTre said:
At the time I saw them in the DC stadium with the Almond Brothers.
I'm sure you mean the Allman Brothers...
I think the Almond Brothers were busy making Mounds bars.:oldbiggrin:
 
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  • #10
That's nuts!
 
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Related to Robert Hunter, Lyricist of Many Grateful Dead Songs has Died

1. Who was Robert Hunter?

Robert Hunter was an American lyricist, singer-songwriter, and poet. He is best known for his work with the Grateful Dead, writing lyrics for many of their songs.

2. What songs did Robert Hunter write for the Grateful Dead?

Robert Hunter wrote lyrics for some of the Grateful Dead's most iconic songs, including "Truckin'", "Touch of Grey", "Ripple", "Uncle John's Band", and "Casey Jones". He also collaborated with Jerry Garcia on many other songs.

3. How did Robert Hunter die?

Robert Hunter passed away on September 23, 2019 at the age of 78. The cause of death was not disclosed, but it is believed that he died in his sleep at his home in California.

4. What was Robert Hunter's impact on the music industry?

Robert Hunter's lyrics were a major part of the Grateful Dead's success and their unique sound. He was also a prolific songwriter and poet, and his work has been praised by many musicians and fans. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.

5. How will Robert Hunter be remembered?

Robert Hunter will be remembered as a talented lyricist and songwriter who helped shape the sound and legacy of the Grateful Dead. His words and music will continue to be celebrated and enjoyed by fans for generations to come.

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