The music world has a lost a true icon, a man whose name, ironically, most have never even heard.
Robert Hunter, the lyricist for the Grateful Dead, died Monday night, according to the Daily Caller. He was 78 years old.
The Man Behind the Songs
Whenever the “Grateful Dead” is mentioned, the first name everyone thinks of is Jerry Garcia.
While Garcia sang the words to his band’s legendary tunes, most people probably do not realize that the man who wrote many of those songs was, in fact, Robert Hunter.
Hunter and Garcia met at a very young age and there was a creative spark almost immediately. In the early 1960s, the two men teamed up, with Garcia eventually founding the Grateful Dead in 1965.
Not long after the group was formed, Garcia started using some of Hunter’s songs and finally asked Hunter to formally join the band as its lyricist.
In fact, Hunter was the lyricist for some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Dark Star” and “Truckin.” Hunter made history in 1994 when the Grateful Dead, including Hunter, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Even though the Grateful Dead disbanded in 1995, Hunter’s career kept going. He would continue to write songs for some of the most successful artists in the business.
Among those for whom Hunter are legendary acts such as Bruce Hornsby, Elvis Costello, and Bob Dylan.
Hunter worked with Dylan previously in 1988, but did the lion’s share of his work with the artist on the 2009 album Together Through Life and in 2012 on Tempest.
In 2013, Hunter went on a solo tour of his own. There are also a considerable amount of awards on Hunter’s mantle. Among the honors he received are the AMA Lifetime Achievement Award and his induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
Rest in peace, Robert. You were a true musical genius.