"Raccoon was a talented musician and songwriter
who traveled far and wide spreading music everywhere he went. In the
same spirit of famous folk artists Arlo Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Raccoon
seldom found a situation in life that could not be sung about.
We will miss him and his wonderful spirit and talent."
William Yeager's Farm 1996
Photo by Mike Wuyek
- From the
family and friends of Raccoon:
"Letter to Hunter/ Raccoon, 27 September 2006"
"My dear, sweet little Hunter, how I wish we could sit and talk, like we
always said we would… maybe one day. Now it is too late and I wish I had
said many things. Please take with you my good wishes and travel well on
your journey to the Milky Way, to be the star in the sky that will always
be there to greet us.
As the youngest of we ten little Indians, you brought us joy and wisdom,
the bright star of our family. We will miss your creativity, your songs
and your presence with us in gatherings. We will always have you in our
hearts when we gather. The world was a better place for the gifts you left
us, and your mark will stay with us forever, for you are still a part of
The world did not give you enough back, for your love. You lived in
loneliness and used it as a forge for your creativity. You were not and
are not alone, but you are a part of the bigger family and came from the
Big Mother Earth. She is accepting you back now, and you will become part
of the rich tapestry of those who have gone before. You were loved and
belonged to the family of humanity, and many followers adored you.
Your life was blessed, but I am sorry if you suffered.
In 1999 you and I went to the Sundance, and we found help. I thought we
knew a lot of the same things about Nature. Then a month ago, when we last
spoke on the phone, you said you would come to Australia, never to return.
When a bird flew into my house last Saturday, I thought you were paying me
a visit. It was the message of your passing. The equinox is the time when
the heavens are open, and people can pass into the spirit world.
I know you are at peace. We will wait to hear your songs on the wind.
Thank you for your beautiful spirit, for the benefits we gained from
sharing your life. We know what you would want, and in some way, perhaps
you will continue on in another form. At the very least, you will live in
our hearts. Love and safe travel."
Joan Gibbs and family – Terry Reardon, Ben Reardon and Rochelle Gibbs
William Yeager's Farm 1996
Photo by Mike Wuyek
"Raccoon was a unique individual. I will miss his music and talent, but most of all I think I will miss
his humor. He had a way of making you smile or even laugh even if
you didn't feel like it. Rest easy friend."
"The guy was extremely talented; natural talent, and when he played he
projected this awesome image. There is no
replacing Raccoon and sadly, most of the world never got to see or hear
him play; but we did... and for that we are blessed.
"How many times I have sat near a fire and Raccoon sang for us, how many
gatherings have I been to that he serenaded us? Am I to miss his talent of
making music fit the times? Be well old friend residing up high, may you
have a great horse to ride on the rainbow trail through the heavens."
"Over the years Raccoon's music has touched many people.
Personally, Raccoon nurtured me into reaching a new level of making music.
I am blessed to have been able to play with him one last time the Saturday
night before he passed. It was a wonderful performance that everyone
enjoyed. I am going to see that his music lives on and touches many more.
Thank you for everything Raccoon! I miss you so much!!"
"Raccoon and I hung out a lot at the W. Virginia 05 Gathering. One night
he came to CALM and played us the most beautiful music about praising
Jah. He gave me a back massage I won't soon ever forget! He was a kind,
sweet, gentle brother. I bless his spirit and won't ever forget him.
Every time I hear his music I once again feel connected to him."
"was so sad this evening when I heard of raccoons passing
on. been listening to him all night. hadn't heard heads or tails of him
since west virginia when he camped with us at the Green Circus for a while
and played at our fire for us. such a mellow sweet hearted spirit. and
whoever mentioned about him being able to make you crack a smile or an
impromptu laugh even when joy was the last thing on your mind was so true.
the only musician i ever met who could play the melody with some fingers
while playing the harmony with others; just wish i could chill with him
love and peace, in this life, his spirit will live with me forever,"
"raccoon was my godfather.....i never actually thought he
could die...he was like one of those people who was supposed to live
forever...if that makes any sense
its really sad i dont remember a lot of things about him.....this memory
of him that just kinda stands out is when i was really little at earth day
and i remember him singing and he had on a surgical mask because he had
allergies or something hahaha.......i also remember him coming to my
school one day and singing during recess.....
i just wish i could've said goodbye and how much he meant to me....."
"I am so very sorry that I missed this news. I learned of
Raccoon's passing just last night. I have cried many times since
and I dont think I am ready to say goodbye. I dont know if I ever
I have known Raccoon for about 18 years now. We spent a lot of
time over the years talking, laughing, cuddling, singing and I
listened as he tried to resolve the struggles we all face on a
I remember having a crush on him back in the early 90's. At Billy
Beams he came on the microphone and called me out of the crowd to
sing with him. I was so nervous but excited. We sang Yahweh and
it was such a wonderful feeling to be singing with such a great
song writer and friend.
I will miss the song bird and all of the joy and love that he
brought to our campfires.
Bessy and Robin - I knew you two more then the rest of the family
and I am truly sorry that he is gone. I wish the best for your
Raccoon - I will see you in another life. Keep smiling sweetie."
Arralea (Lee) Davidson
"This is my tribute to our dear friend, Benjamin Hunter Mark "Raccoon"
Gibbs. He was a pure hearted, free spirit with such amazing talent. I will
carry the memories and music in my heart forever and I feel fortunate to
have been his friend. He left us too early but as he wrote...now his "soul
is set free to soar with the eagles". I hope he's soaring high. I only
wish I had made this slideshow when he was alive, he would have loved it.
I cherish these photos and am now able to share them and his music with my
I chose the song The Angels Cry, performed by Raccoon with Rhythm Glide,
March 31, 1995 at Centerfold Coffeehouse, New York City, NY. This song
always made me cry while he played it under the stars, around the
campfire. Now it makes me cry even harder.
My fondest memory of Raccoon is back in the 90s at his
family's chestnut orchard in Linden, where musicians/friends and everyone
in-between gathered for his rockin' campouts. My cousin (Carol Blum) and I
were writing a song about Raccoon. Actually, she did all the writing; I
helped with harmonies and some lyrics. We recapped the weekend's events in
a song and called it The Merit Song. "I smoke Merits and you smoke dope"
was the catch phrase in the song.
Raccoon loved it and loved the fact that someone wrote a
song about him. It was a catchy tune and pretty humorous. So, we got up on
stage and sang if for him. He had us sing it to him over and over for the
rest of that weekend, he was really digging it! From time to time, he'd
say "Hey Jane, sing me The Merit Song, come on, sing it!" So, after much
coaxing, I would finally give in. Of course, it was always better when
Carol and I sang it together. The tradition started from there. Every year
he would find us in the crowd and have us come up on stage or around the
campfire to sing his song.
Last verse..."Thanks Raccoon for havin' us here, throws
this party 'bout twice a year. So don't you ?? (hm hmm hmm, don't
remember), don't you piss him off, save your screaming and your morning
cough. And don't you ask Raccoon for a smoke because he smokes Merits and
you smoke dope. He smokes Merits and you......smoke.......dope!" Heh.
I met Tina through Raccoon and we became friends. I helped
her with her and Racoon's wedding, along with Lori and Cheryl. Kim Fields
wrote a song especially for them and she and I sang it at the ceremony. It
was one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. I was honored to be
present at the Justice of the Peace the day they legally tied the knot. A
small group of us shared coffee and stories at a corner cafe following the
ceremony. It was a joyful day, filled with laughter. Those were good
I miss Raccoon. I miss his warm smile and soothing voice. I miss his
spirited music and genuine nature. I miss his crazy sense of humor and bad
(really bad) jokes. I will never forget you. Now you are free Raccoon. Now
you are at peace."
Jane's MySpace Blog
"Angels Cry" by Raccoon
My name is Kevin Turner and I'm a wholesale CD distributor. I recently
purchased a box of 91 CD's and as I was going through them and cleaning
them, prepping them for sale, I came across one that intrigued me so I
gave it a listen. It was Raccoon - Rainbow Warrior 1987 in A- Condition. I
listen to hundreds of CD's and normally I don't listen to more than one
song. However, this CD literally abducted me and left me with an unknown
sadness upon the completion of the final song. See, I also play the drums
and I immediately wanted to play with Raccoon, but I told my friend I
don't think he's alive. Why I would say or think that, I don't know. But I
felt it and wept. I have never even heard of the guy, but my God, he
touched me. So, I reluctantly started poking around on the net and surely
enough, I came across your site. I will never sell this CD and the video
on Jane's Blog was extremely touching. I haven't felt this kind of sadness
for a loss of a musician since the passing of Michael Hedges, truly my
favorite guitarist of all time.
I don't even know why I'm emailing you. I guess I feel as though we have a
connection, through Raccoon, a man that truly touched my heart and soul on
William Yeager's Farm 1996
Photo by Mike Wuyek
If you would like to add your thoughts and memories of Raccoon, please
email them to us and we
will post your sentiments on this board.
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Lasst updated: 5-9-2006