Grateful Dead Lyricist Robert Hunter Dead At 78

HuffPost Entertainment 1 month ago

Robert Hunter, a poet best known for writing the lyrics to many classic Grateful Dead songs, died at the age of 78 on Monday night. His family shared the news in an official statement and urged his fans to celebrate him by listening to his words. 

“It is with great sadness we confirm our beloved Robert passed away yesterday night. He died peacefully at home in his bed, surrounded by love. His wife Maureen was by his side holding his hand,” the statement read. “For his fans that have loved and supported him all these years, take comfort in knowing that his words are all around us, and in that way he is never truly gone.”

Born Robert Burns in 1941, Hunter’s career path began in 1961 after he met future Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia in 1961 through the Palo Alto folk music scene. Around the same time, Hunter participated in the government-sponsored LSD tests with writer Ken Kesey that took place at Stanford University, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

When Garcia formed an electric rock group called the Warlocks that later became the Grateful Dead, Hunter decided to focus solely on lyrics. He was known by his bandmates as “the band member that doesn’t come on stage with us.” 

Hunter’s most well-known songs include “Dark Star,” “Uncle John’s Band” and the band’s biggest radio hit, “Touch of Grey.”

Although Hunter was known most for collaborating with Garcia, the lyricist also wrote songs with Elvis Costello, Bruce Hornsby and Bob Dylan, according to Rolling Stone.

“He’s got a way with words and I do too,” Dylan previously told the magazine. “We both write a different type of song than what passes today for songwriting.” 


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Robert Hunter, the poet famous for writing many of the Grateful Dead’s best-regarded songs, has died at 78.
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Robert Hunter, the man behind many of the Grateful Dead’s finest songs, has died at age 78.
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Robert Hunter, the man behind the poetic and mystical words for many of the Grateful Dead's finest songs, has died at age 78
CNN › Entertainment › 1 month ago
Robert Hunter, the man behind many of the Grateful Dead's most iconic lyrics, died Monday night at the age of 78.
The Guardian › Entertainment › 1 month ago
Lyricist who wrote many of the best-loved songs of the Grateful DeadAlthough the Grateful Dead enjoyed a reputation for lengthy musical improvisations, their career was based on a solid core of songwriting craft. Robert Hunter, who has died aged 78...
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Hunter's most memorable Grateful Dead songs include 'Cumberland Blues,' 'It Must Have Been the Roses,' and 'Terrapin Station'
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Tributes have been pouring in for one of the greatest wordsmiths in the history of rock. Robert Hunter, who died this week at the age of 78, was responsible for penning some of the band's best known songs and most profound lyrics. Jeff Glor reports.
NBC News › Entertainment › 1 month ago
Hunter's songs included such classics as "Truckin'," ''Uncle John's Band," ''Box of Rain" and "Ripple."
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