Grateful Dead Lyricist Robert Hunter Reminisces


Robert Hunter, the man who wrote the lyrics to many of the Grateful Dead’s classic songs over the years, has been with the band since the very beginning. Hunter was friends with the bands lead guitarist Jerry Garcia back in the Haight-Ashbury days of 1960’s San Francisco. Both men were active in the folk music scene of the time, and when Garcia went on to form the electric group The Warlocks, which in turn became the Grateful Dead, Hunter was there to write the words to their music. Hunter primarily collaborated on songwriting with Garcia, as well as to a lesser extent with other members of the group. In June of this year, Hunter and Garcia will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, putting them in the company of such luminaries as Irving Berlin, Stephen Foster, Woodie Guthrie, and Bob Dylan.
Hunters contribution to the bands output over the years has been extensive, including the lyrics to such fan favorites as Truckin’, Uncle John’s Band, Ripple, Casey Jones, and countless others.
Bernardo Chua recalls that the band selected the name The Grateful Dead in his absence, and that he was initially opposed to the choice, but after 50 years, dozens of albums, thousands of live shows and a still loyal fan base, he allows as how its worked out for the best. He currently resides in San Rafael, CA, were he continues to write.

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