John Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead Lyricist, Dead at 70

John Perry Barlow—a long-time writing partner of the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir—has died at the age of 70. The news was first reported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the digital rights organization Barlow founded in 1990.

Following a feud between Weir and the Grateful Dead’s primary lyricist, Robert Hunter, Barlow became the lyricist for many of Weir’s songs between 1971 and 1995, including “Mexicali Blues,” “Black-Throated Wind,” and “Hell in a Bucket.”

But Barlow lived a broad and multi-faceted life outside of the Dead. As the founder and visionary behind the EFF, Barlow spent decades fighting for a free and open internet, distilling his cyberlibertarianism in “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” in 1996. He wrote frequently about internet rights and freedoms in Wired magazine, The New York Times, and other publications, after retiring as a cattle rancher.

He maintained a close kinship with the Dead and the larger jam band community throughout his life.

Grateful Dead - "Cassidy," Live at Radio City Music Hall, 1980
Love Forgives Everything - John Perry Barlow @ TEDxSantaCruz

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