Robert Hunter Clarifies Reasons Why He's Touring

On Tuesday, Digital Music News published an article about Robert Hunter that gained the attention of many Deadheads with its headline of "Grateful Dead Lyricist Forced to Tour to Pay Medical Bills." The article used quotes from Hunter's 2013 chat with Rolling Stone to insinuate that Hunter is touring strictly to pay off his medical bills, leading a number of fans within the Grateful Dead community to start organizing Kickstarter efforts to help the lyricist. Put those wallets away, because Hunter took to his Facebook page to clarify his current situation.

Here's the text of Robert Hunter's statement:

It’s come to my attention that there is an article circulating [that takes] a few quotes out of context from last year’s interview I did for a Rolling Stone profile.

Thank you all for your concern regarding my health, however I am grateful this is old news taken out of context and has been sensationalized. I am fully recovered, and I am not in need of any financial help or indebted, although I'm deeply touched by the immediate concern and overwhelming response of the community. The reason I have decided to come back to touring is to play the music I love and for the deep connection to my audiences. I am going on stage not because I have to but because I WANT to. Reconnecting with the fans and the music is a powerful experience and not one that I take lightly.

Still kicking,

Meanwhile, Hunter finished off a three-night stand at City Winery in NYC last night. True to his word, Robert only played material he had not performed at the first two shows with the exception of the "Ripple" "Boys In The Barroom" encore. The show included Hunter's first solo take on "Attics Of My Life," his first time performing Garcia's arrangement of "Touch Of Grey" and a short attempt at Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run" and Take a look at the setlist via Hunter's Facebook page:

Set One: Box of Rain, Loser, Tiger Rose, So Many Roads, Wild Bill, Attics of My Life, Standing on the Moon

Set Two (Order Approximated): Touch Of Grey, Rum Runners, Over The Hills, Born To Run (snippet), Heck (New Song), Promotory Rider, Sugaree, Stella Blue, New Speedway Boogie

Encore: Ripple, Boys in the Barroom

Check out a playlist of fan-shot videos from last night's show by Scott Gibson including the "Born To Run" tease and Robert's first-ever "Attics Of My Life":

Robert Hunter now heads to Rhode Island for his Newport Folk Festival debut.

[Published on: 7/24/14]

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