Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Goodbye Robert Hunter

It stands to reason that had Disaster Amnesiac been blogging back in 1995, there would have been a "Goodbye Jerry Garcia" post from me. Seeing as that Robert Hunter was in many ways Jerry's creative twin brother, it seems fitting to give him a quick goodbye post.
Robert Hunter's words very much defined the lives, times, and world views of millions of people. One would be hard pressed to find a poet whose writing reached and effected as many people. Walt Whitman? Jack Kerouac? Disaster Amnesiac can't think of too many more. If you can, please do comment. Sometimes these words strike me as deeply sublime, at others times some of them seem kind of dopey. They always do leave an impression, though.
Robert Hunter strove for, and really did achieve, a uniquely American literary vision, one that reflected the striving, heartbreak, and foibles of the people that have walked the North American gauntlet. The Grateful Dead's lyrics, courtesy of Hunter, for better or worse broke down the somewhat naive visions of the scene from which they achieved notoriety and gave a much more honest view the human condition, particularly in regards to humans in the U.S.A.
Disaster Amnesiac always appreciated this, along with Hunter's non-blinders wearing views towards his brother Jerry, especially in the wake of his final demise. Robert Hunter kept it real, always.
Goodbye, Robert Hunter. Surely there are a lot of people that are grateful for your taking up Jerry Garcia on his proposition to help out his band with lyrics so many years ago. You truly helped more than you hurt. 


Pig State Recon said...

No disrespect to Robert, but I do agree with your "dopey" comment. I've never felt that Dead lyrics really held up under close scrutiny. Best just let all their ramblin' Olde West storytellin' just sorta flavour the instrumental proceedings. That worked for me. But I always wondered what they would have sounded like with angry/biting/political lyrics, ala MC5 or Henry Cow or somebody.

Mark Pino On Drums said...

Hey, Row! I don't think that anyone in the Dead have ever been inclined towards those types of polemics. I guess that's why Hunter's lyrics fit so perfectly with Jerry's musical efforts. I'm still marveling at how much influence his words had on so many people.