Robert Hunter AOL GD Forum/MacWorld Live Event 12/19/96

On Thursday night, 12/19/96 at 6 PM PST, Robert Hunter, Karen Libertore, and I sat down for a chat in cyberspace, hosted by the AOL Live crew. When you see a question that starts with Question, that means it was asked by a member of the audience.

The transcript has been edited/altered from the original raw typing to improve the intelligibility/intent of the event.

Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc., The AOL GD Forum and MacWorld Online.

Geoff Gould : Welcome to tonight's special AOL Live event. My name is Geoff Gould, and I am the AOL GD Forum coordinator. Before we start the official proceedings, and I clear the Question buffers, I'd like to ask that we come up with really good questions. If all I find in the buffer are questions like: "When are the Dead getting back together?" and so on, it makes it harder to find the good ones!

Well, thanks for your help; we'll get started in a minute.

Karen Libertore : Welcome to the Macworld - Grateful Dead Forum live chat with Robert Hunter. Hello Robert. And hello to Geoff Gould, Dead Forum sysop, guest moderator. Thanks to both of you.

GG : thanks

KL : My name is Karen Liberatore. I'm an editor and producer at Macworld Online. The Macworld staff sends its greetings.

KL : So, Robert, what kind of computer do you use? ;)

GG : what a setup!

KL : Well, we try

RH : Currently on a Mac5300ce with 60 megs of RAM

: You've got a fine Web site - how many hours a week do you spend updating it?

RH : Down from 100 hours per week to about 40

KL : Are you getting Web burnout? You kind of hint at that in your latest journal entry.

GG : eating your time up a bit, eh?

RH : Way past burnout and working on burn-in!

KL : Is the wolf at the door?

RH : Someone said on the conferencing line today: I often wished the wolf was at your door so you'd get your ass out on the road where you belong. But no, not just a present.

GG : Well Robert, before we get too techno-geeky tonight, I'd like to ask you to give us an update on your plans to tour again, as you stated in your 12/17 Journal. I know that I'M interested!
RH : Still in the planning stages, but I only expect to do half a dozen cities in order to find out if I have the stamina to proceed further. I'll then mull it over and think about Texas.

GG : good, we'll certainly be there.

KL : How long has it been since your last tour?

RH : It's been about 5 or 6 years, I think, since I went out with my guitar. Did some readings in between.

GG : So, let's get to some audience questions. I'll set 'em up; you knock 'em down!

Question : What is your favorite song that you and Jerry worked on together?

RH : What's Become of the Baby?

Question : Anything you would like to share about the recent Furthur tour mentioned in your newsletter?

RH : Can't think of anything right off the bat. Next one should be better co-ordinated.

GG : real Question; must've been Karen's coworker!:

Question : Why exactly do you prefer to work with a Mac other than a PC?

RH : After the Osborne 64k, it's just the only computer I've ever worked with. Habit I guess. Plus the lure of the under-dog image.

GG : Care to talk about how you evolved into a webmaster?

RH : Didn't evolve, the band just gave me the job because they knew I was interested in the net.

Question : I have a very important Question for Robert. Why did he feel he had to rerecord the vocals for the album Tigerose?

RH : Don't know. I just thought I could do them better and didn't realize that my own work had become a bit of a classic in it's own right - but I realized better later on, withdrew the new version, and the old version is now out on Ryko.

Question : Have you been writing any new material for your own album?

RH : Not planning an album at present. I recently recorded Kerouac's SF Blues and may release that.

Question : Mr. hunter, would you ever consider writing songs for bands that dead heads have moved on to such as phish?

RH : The lyricist of Phish is an email buddy of mine. I wouldn't want to move into anyone else's territory.

Question : Are there any cinematic projects with which you are currently involved? Do you get a chance to read any screenplays regarding stories about the dead?

RH : Yep - but I hate reading scripts. No projects of my own in mind.

GG : here's a two-parter:

Question : Do you see the NET as being a leveler of information world wide? if so.. how are you infolved with this.. Comment on BARLOW , thank you. I am a BIG FAN

RH : Barlow is the Lone Ranger of Cyberspace.

RH : Leveler of information? Yes.

KL : Web sites are ubiquitous: What makes a site stand out? What drives your vision of Web community?

RH : Continuity, content, community.

Question : Robert, how do *you* utilise authoring tools w/html? (Please gig near Baltimore!)

RH : I use a whole bunch of them - but PageMill 2 is the best; although there's something wrong with its ability to center text I can't figure out.

GG : ok, let's dig into the buffer again...

Question : How did writing with Garcia compare to other people you have written with?

RH : Writing with Garcia was like dropping pennies off the Brooklyn Bridge - different from dropping them into a fishpond, if you know what I mean.

Question : Robert, it is a great concern of the majority of Deadheads. How have you coped with the loss of Jerry?

RH : I've coped by putting my energies full time into the net. Now I'm pulling back a bit.

Question : what is the url to your web site?

RH :

Question : Have you ever thought about publishing any fiction?

RH : I do publish it - on the internet.

Question : Robert did MAC help you out when you had trouble with the system

RH : There was an offer, but I was already off to England. No blame - they got a lot to cope with.

Question : Mr. Hunter, you mentioned in your journal that Dick Latvala is having a tough time. What do you think may help his cause?

GG : Dick is special to the heads!

RH : Dick has to handle that himself.

Question : should we be expecting any new features to be added to your web site soon?

RH : Always new features in mind.

KL : Why publish on the Net? What do you get out of it?

RH : What I get out of it is bypassing a year and a half wait to see it out on paper!

KL : Yeah, that's great. Instant gratificationl.

Question : will there be a chance that flight of the marie elana will come out on cd?

RH : Don't have any plans for release of old stuff.

Question : When did you complete the extra verses to Terrapin? Any story behind those? I love em, especially the last two portions.

RH : completed around 1994.

Question : Do you still talk to Bobby, Phil, Vince....etc?

RH : Once in awhile. Vince called two days ago.

Question : Did you find it to be a healing process putting in so many hours on the computer?

RH : I don't really know. I was too busy.

Question : Why hasn't the album "Jack of Roses" ever been released on CD?

RH : Don't know where the master is.

Question : Mr. Hunter, What is the last song you wrote for the Dead, used or unused?

RH : Days Between

Question : Hi! I was wondering where the quote "Everybody's dancing in a ring around the sun" came from. I love that and I say it all the time.

RH : From "Golden Road." Not my lyric - don't iknow source.

Question : Robert... Hello hooray!! Are you writing songs for any bands currently or plan to??

RH : Secret project. Time will tell.

Question : The lyrics and music to all of the GD songs worked very well together. How did this intimate relationship between lyrics and music develop; I mean since they were written seperately?

RH : Some of the best were written when JG & I lived in the same house. I'd be banging on my guitar and typing and he'd be downstairs arranging so that by the time I handed him the lyric, the tune was done.

Question : are you still meeting with the band?

RH : I'd need bonus miles certificates to do this.

Question : mr. hunter what do you think of the group phish?

RH : I bought their double set and loved it. Great charm to the music - an old familiar ring, but new.

Question : Why don't you do some shows on the Furthur tour, if they do it again

RH : I need to find out, first, what kind of stamina and endurance I have through going out on a small tour

Question : are you writing any new songs with anybody?

RH : yes and no.

KL : Have you heard Sixteen Horsepower? What do you think?

RH : Havend't heard them.

Question : Robert, how would one go about contacting your agent re. a booking in our fair city?

RH : Don't do it - we're just setting up a small tour in a few usual places at this point. Future unknown.

Question : Will it be just you on tour or will you have a full band?

RH : Just me and my guitar.

Question : Was the Terrapin Part 2 stuff (Ivory Wheels/Rosewood Track, Jack O'Roses, etc...) ever recorded?

RH : On the "Jack O'Roses" album aforemention and lost.

Question : What was your favorite city on your tours?

RH : Generally Boston.

KL : Is this the 20th anniversary of Terrapin?

RH : Yes. maybe.

KL : So, what are your favorite web sites?

RH : and www.enterzone (com or not, don't know)

KL : Why?

RH : Content, content, content

GG : by the way Karen, what's this about being a top MacWorld website?

KL : The Robert Hunter Archives was our Site of the Week during Expo Boston. People loved it..

GG : I must say Robert, I point to your website often as a triumph of content; well done.

RH : No wonder I like Boston!

GG : another Question from the buffer...

Question : Any more stories like Giant's Harp coming our way? - I loved it

RH : I've got a chapter of a new one written - I see Giant's Harp as a trilogy.

Question : Any new books of poetry coming out soon?

RH : "Glass Lunch" on the Penguin Poets series due out any old day.

KL : I especially like your Library of the Uncanny...where did the idea come from

RH : I think the experience of the uncanny is more "commonplace" than most people realize. It seemed like a good idea to ask readers for their experiences. Some real chilling tales in there.

KL : Definitely. I think we've all had some kind of visit or another. some ppl don't admit it, though

GG : Can you tell us your impression of how central has evolved?

RH : It's a mad dog! Watching it grow and extend into all nooks and crannies of the Dead experience is fascinating, almost overwhelming!

GG : Has it given you the distance you needed?

RH : Far from it!

GG : the conference is at for those of you who haven't been there


RH : Currently re-reading Philip K. Dick & Lovecraft. Nancy Collins writes a great vampire story.

KL : Lovecraft? Haven't heard his name in a while.

RH : An ascendent master of pure creep perfection.

KL : Yes indeed.

GG : we're done here in a few minutes; is there something we forgot to discuss that you actually like to talk about?

RH : Ha! Outrunning your buffer am I? I type fast!

GG : I've got 415 Questions left!

RH : You mean to say it's been 45 minutes already?

GG : but time is not on our side!

KL : Thanks Robert for joining us. The Mac community is a special one, as you know..

RH : Seems so to me.

RH : Thanks Karen.

GG : Well, I'd like to thank Robert Hunter for coming tonight, let's give him a hand!

KL : Standing ovation..

GG : Thanks Karen for setting this up

KL : You're welcome, and only with your help.

RH : Does God look down on the Boys in the Barroom?

KL : Yes He does. Keep up the good Mac work..

GG : I hope so. We bid you good night. Thanks everyone for coming!
Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc., The AOL GD Forum and MacWorld Online.

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