Happy Birthday Robert Hunter - See One of His Last Setlists

Nearly a year ago the music world lost the legendary Robert Hunter, best know as one of the main lyricist for the Grateful Dead. Today is Hunter's birthday, he would have been 78.
Hunter was also a musician, translator, a poet, and a true Central California native. Him and Jerry Garcia formed a lifelong bond and collaboration during their late teen years. Hunter is responsible for the lyrics of famous Dead songs like "China Cat Sunflowers," "St. Stephen," "Sugar Magnolia," "Box of Rain," "Ripple," "Dire Wolf," and much more. For most of the Dead's career, Hunter mostly worked with only Garcia's songs.
Hunter's role in the band is so great that when the Dead were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, he was included a band member, the only non-performer to be honored.
Hunter's lyrics are deeply felt and play a critical role in Dead culture. His words are both fantastical and literary to the core and are integrated into the music in a critical way. For years, Dead Heads pasted lines like "Nothing Left to do but Smile Smile Smile," and "Sunshine Daydream" onto shirts, stickers, buttons and posters.
While Hunter isn't here with us today during this critical moment in time where we find ourselves fighting for social change, equality, and justice for Black lives, it's a good time to turn to his lyrics for inspiration for the movement. The Dead wrote their fair share of protest songs back in the day, including "U.S. Blues."
Back to back chicken shack. Son of a gun, better change your act. We're all confused, what's to lose? You can call this all the United States Blues.
The most important show of solidarity was when the Dead stepped away from their usual white liberal hippie audience on March 5, 1971 and performed at a Black Panther benefit concert honoring the birthday of Huey Newton in Oakland, California.
Black Panther Event Flyer
As we celebrate Hunter's legacy today in this pivotal moment in time, it's important to reflect on the power of lyricism, a talent that keeps Hunter's legacy immortal.
Hunter was also a musician, performing occasionally on his own. His last known performances were in November 2014 at the City Winery in Napa, California. The setlists from these shows are missing in our archives but we do have the setlist from his last show on the Beyond the Blue Horizon Tour at City Winery in New York City
The show occurred on August 2nd and Hunter performed a jam band style two-part set. He performed a few of his own solo licks like "Tiger Rose," "Wild Bill" and "One Thing to Try" along with several Dead songs like "Ramble On Rose," "Friend of the Devil," and "Touch of Grey." He performed 24-songs, including a three-song encore that ended on an a cappella version of "Boys in the Barroom."
"Truckin"
Check out the setlist here:
Robert Hunter
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With the current state of the world, it's important to raise awareness and encourage our readers to take action in support of the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement. We compiled a list or resources to help guide you in the right direction to begin helping today - check it out HERE.
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Last updated: 9 Jul 2020, 17:26 Etc/UTC