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POP EYE

September 19, 1993|STEVE HOCHMAN

DEADLY FORCE: Young bands the Spin Doctors, Blues Traveler, Phish et al. may have lots of Deadheads following them, but San Francisco band Zero perhaps has something better: the Grateful Dead's lyricist.

Robert Hunter, who for most of the Dead's history has been Jerry Garcia's primary wordsmith, has been of late providing lyrics for Zero, which built up a loyal Bay Area following in eight years of gigging as an instrumentals-only outfit.

In fact, it was Hunter, a long-time acquaintance of Zero drummer Greg Anton, who suggested that the band needed a singer and volunteered to provide the words. So the group, which includes former Jefferson Starship member Pete Sears on keyboards, hired Bay Area blues singer Judge Murphy and set to work.

"They're gonna have a hard time getting out from under that comparison umbrella with the Dead," Hunter says. "But they come from the same ethos, though the music is different."

The band will be at Club Lingerie on Sept. 28 to showcase its new material.

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