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Phil Lesh, Bob Weir Reunite With... PDF 

Phil Lesh, Bob Weir Reunite With Dead Lyricist Robert Hunter
Longtime collaborator contributes new lyrics for the duo’s Furthur project

By David  Browne, RollingStone Magazine, August 8, 2010

 This summer, Deadheads are getting to hear something they never
thought they’d hear again: Phil Lesh and Bob Weir performing news songs
with lyrics by longtime Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. During the first month
of its summer tour, Lesh and Weir’s new band, Furthur, debuted three fresh
collaborations with Hunter: the goodtime-y jaunt “Muli Guli,” the brooding
“Colors of the Rain” and a panoramic country-folk ballad, “Seven Hills of
Gold.”
 “We want Furthur to bring back the spirit of the Dead,” Lesh says of
the new songs. Indeed they do: The new cuts could easily pass as outtakes
from Seventies Grateful Dead LPs such as Wake of the Flood or Blues for
Allah.
 The renewed collaboration began in April, when Hunter – known for
penning the words to dozens of Dead classics, including “Uncle John’s Band”
and “Casey Jones” – sent a stack of about a dozen unsolicited, completed
lyrics to Weir and Lesh. “It was a pleasant surprise,” Lesh recalls, “Maybe
Hunter heard about what we were doing and was inspired by it.” Weir grabbed
two of the lyrics for himself: first, “Seven Hills of Gold” (It was on top
of the stack,” he says), and the second with the working title “Big Bad
Blues,” which Weir says reminds him of “Althea” and hasn’t been played live
yet.
 Neither Lesh nor Weir has asked Hunter to explain the songs, “If you
ask, you get a disapproving look,” jokes Lesh. (The reclusive Hunter, who
co-wrote Bob Dylan’s 2009 LP Together Through Life, declined to comment for
the story.) Weir thinks the cosmic-travelogue lyrics to “Seven Hills of
Gold” remind him of “Terrapin Station.”
“I want to ask Hunter to write a trilogy like that,” the guitarist says.
 Weir is nearing completion of a new studio near his home in San
Rafael, California, outfitted with vinyl-pressing equipment, and hopes the
band will record studio versions of the new material at some point. But for
now, the only place fans will be able to hear the new songs is at Furthur
shows or on bootlegs, which suits Lesh just fine. “I personally have no
desire to make a record,” he says. “That art form is dead. I’d rather just
put them out there on the Web. We never made money off our albums anyway.”

 
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