Pictured above, center, she was the original bassist for the beloved 1980’s NC power pop trio.
By Fred Mills
Faye Hunter of Let’s Active passed away Saturday night (July 20), the victim of an apparent suicide. Hunter, 59, of Winston-Salem, reportedly had been despondent due to financial and job stresses as well as the pressures of having to care for an extremely elderly parent.
Music critic David Menconi of Raleigh’s News & Observer wrote on his music blog:
“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 ‘he 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.”
Menconi also quotes Hunter’s friend Jamie K. Sims, of Tarheel popster legend The Cosmopolitans, as saying, “I’m not shocked, but I am surprised about the timing. She’d been talking about this for quite some time. The past three or so years were really bad.”
Mitch Easter, cofounder of Let’s Active, posted a message on Facebook, saying, “Today’s news has broken our hearts. Faye Hunter, you will be missed and loved forever.”
On a personal note: When it hits so close to home like this, it hurts all the more. I saw Let’s Active many times back in the day, and Faye was always the hail-fellow-well-met member of the trio, someone whom I always wound up having great conversations with before and after gigs. I loved that band dearly, and during its initial incarnation, Faye was an integral part of both the musicianship (that’s her lead vocal on their wonderful cover of “Blue Line,” below) and the personality that helped make Let’s Active so special and so important to my circle of friends (many of whom had Winston-Salem roots). After moving to Arizona in the ‘90s I lost touch with a lot of those folks but gradually began reconnecting upon my return to NC a decade later, and Faye was one of the correspondents who popped up in my email inbox from time to time. Eventually I wound up doing an interview with her about her Let’s Active days, and I’m glad I had the chance. I’m just very, very sad that I didn’t have the chance to offer a helping hand or say goodbye.