Hello Daily Campus,
It is fitting that the Husky Nation mark the passing Sept. 24 of Robert Hunter, who wrote for the Daily Campus in the late 1950s while a student. Hunter gained fame as the main lyricist for the Grateful Dead, but in some ways got his start at UConn.
Years before writing “Truckin’” (“What a long strange trip it’s been”), “Ripple,” “Friend of the Devil,” and the Top 10 hit “Touch of Grey” and many others with Jerry Garcia — and “Duquesne Whistle,” “Silvio” and others with Bob Dylan — Hunter was president of UConn’s Folk Music Club — playing music all over campus, including in all-night jams with math Professor Tom Paley, later of The New Lost City Ramblers (key instigator of the country/bluegrass “authenticity” wing of the ‘60s folk music movement).
Hunter didn’t finish at UConn, but he did come back. I interviewed him when he toured in ‘77 in the Storrs area (at Shaboo), and he visited UConn’s “Intentional Democratic Community” (IDC, a countercultural dorm and precursor of today’s Living Learning Centers), now Rogers Hall in Northwest Campus. Hunter lived in Batterson in NWC, and was interested in the wild and crazy mural art that adorned the hallways of IDC.
“The storyteller makes no choice/ Soon you will not hear his voice / His job is to shed light / And not to master.” Fare Thee Well, Robert Hunter.
Matt Light, Class of ‘78
Matthew F. Light of Stratford, Connecticut graduated in 1978 with a B.A. in English and can be reached at email@example.com