Track #302: Whatever You Do, Don’t Put the Blame on You

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On Wednesday, the world lost a good man whom you’ve likely never heard of. His name was Rob Hunter, and he was one of my brother James’ best friends in high school and college. They played in bands together. I think Rob was there the first time I ever performed a song on stage. I was four. My brother’s band was playing a show at his school. I sang Neil Diamond’s “Lady Magdalene” (still one of my favorite songs. Rob played drums.

I didn’t know him all that well. He and James are fourteen years older than me, so they were off to college before I started kindergarten. But I remember Rob was always nice to me, which isn’t always a given from the friends of your older siblings.

Rob was a professional music producer and engineer, with an impressive list of artists with whom he’d worked. When I started “With the Band,” I had some ideas that haven’t yet come to fruition, but which someday hopefully will. One of those ideas was to record an album of Neil Diamond covers for Rob Perle’s band, Eice Cherry, with my brother James singing the leads. When Rob Hunter heard about the idea, he offered to produce the album for us. The man hadn’t seen me in close to thirty years, but he didn’t hesitate to make such a generous offer. That’s the kind of guy he was.

He was also a Wither. Apparently, as a drummer, he strongly identified with X in this early track, telling James that he thought what X thought in panel four many times over the years.

Rest in peace, Rob. You will be dearly missed.

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