Faye Hunter, part of '80s band Let's Active, dies of apparent suicide at 59

dmenconi@newsobserver.comJuly 21, 2013 

What you had yesterday is only memories; what you will have tomorrow is your dreams and what you will do today, let it be love.” ~ Santosh Kalwar

Late Thursday night, Faye Hunter posted that quote to her Facebook page. Apparently, it was to be her final message to the world. Hunter died Saturday night in Advance, near Winston-Salem, victim of an apparent suicide. She was 59 and will be best-remembered for her time in the 1980s Winston-Salem band Let's Active.

"I'm not shocked, but I am surprised about the timing," her friend Jamie K. Sims said Sunday night. "She'd been talking about this for quite some time. The past three or so years were really bad."

Back in the early 1980s, Hunter was the original bassist in Mitch Easter's Let's Active. The group was part of a wave of Southern underground pop that eventually took R.E.M. to the mainstream.

Hunter was a key player on the first two Let's Active releases -- 1983's poppy mini-album "Afoot" and the brilliant 1984 full-length "Cypress" -- which were both fascinating combinations of sunny pop sensibilities and dark undercurrents. She also contributed to 1986's "Big Plans For Everybody" before departing, adding just-right harmonies, on-the-one bass work and the occasional lead vocal.

Sunday night, Hunter's status as an important part of North Carolina's musical ecosystem was in evidence as remembrances lit up Facebook upon news of her death. Peter Holsapple, co-leader of Let's Active's Winston-Salem peers the dB's, described her as "the big sister I never had during my teen years," and numerous people posted pictures and YouTube links -- and lamented that they'd been unable to help her.

Hunter gave a rare public performance in May at Winston-Salem Centennial, a musical celebration that reunited many of the key acts from Winston's '80s underground-pop glory days as Comboland. But in recent years, she struggled with job woes and the stress of care-giving for her elderly mother.

“She’d become physically worn down, very thin and having physical problems from the stress of working and caregiving,” Sims said. “Faye was thinking about leaving, but… I guess this is the only way she could figure out how to do it.”

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service