Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc., The AOL GD Forum
and MacWorld Online.
Robert Hunter AOL GD Forum/MacWorld Live Event
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
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
Well, thanks for your help; we'll get started in a
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
GG : thanks
KL : My name is Karen Liberatore. I'm an editor and
producer at Macworld Online. The Macworld staff sends its
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
KL : 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
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
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
GG : Care to talk about how you evolved into a
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
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
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 : www.dead.net
Question : Have you ever thought about publishing
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
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
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
Question : When did you complete the extra verses to
Terrapin? Any story behind those? I love em, especially the last two
RH : completed around 1994.
Question : Do you still talk to Bobby, Phil,
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
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
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
Question : mr. hunter what do you think of the group
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
RH : yes and no.
KL : Have you heard Sixteen Horsepower? What do you
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
Question : What was your favorite city on your
RH : Generally Boston.
KL : Is this the 20th anniversary of Terrapin?
RH : Yes. maybe.
KL : So, what are your favorite web sites?
RH : www.levity.com and www.enterzone (com or not,
KL : Why?
RH : Content, content, content
GG : by the way Karen, what's this about dead.net
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
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
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 dead.net
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,
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
Question : WHAT AUTHORS DO YOU LIKE? FICTION AND
NON-FICTION? ANY FAVORITE BOOKS?
RH : Currently re-reading Philip K. Dick &
Lovecraft. Nancy Collins writes a great vampire story.
KL : Lovecraft? Haven't heard his name in a
RH : An ascendent master of pure creep
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
RH : Ha! Outrunning your buffer am I? I type
GG : I've got 415 Questions left!
RH : You mean to say it's been 45 minutes
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
KL : Yes He does. Keep up the good Mac work..
GG : I hope so. We bid you good night. Thanks
everyone for coming!
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