Let’s Active’s Faye Hunter 1954-2013 R.I.P.

Lets+Active

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.

Faye

 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.

4 thoughts on “Let’s Active’s Faye Hunter 1954-2013 R.I.P.

    1. Robinbrevard

      Nice remembrance, Fred. Very sad news, especially coming after Scott Miller took his life earlier this year. Time to cue up R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”…

      1. Fred Mills Post author

        Thanks, sincerely. People like Faye and Scott were (and still are, musically) very important to me, a huge part of my ’80s. It hurts terribly to lose them. I mean, even when it’s not someone that you hung out with or talked with on a regular basis, if they were part of your life and they made your life just a little bit more meaningful, and if you were lucky enough to share a conversation or a moment or two, when they are gone it makes you wish you could have just taken him or her aside for 30 seconds to tell them they did so. Suddenly, that option is no longer available. But at least you’re left with the music and the memories.

  1. Amanda Thompson

    I’ve been a massive Let’s Active fan for years & over the last couple of years, had the extreme pleasure & honor of becoming a friend of Faye’s. Last year she sung guest vocals on a song I’d written for us both to record. Like so many, I’d tried & failed to help her & the news of her death broke my heart in two. All I can do now is release our track in her memory. Ltd edition 7″ vinyl will be available in September 2013 & all proceeds to her animal charities. I love you forever, Faye x

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