John Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead Lyricist & Internet Pioneer, Dies At 70; Tributes Pour In
John Perry Barlow, the longtime Grateful Dead lyricist, died Wednesday at the age of 70.
JOHN PERRY BARLOW DIES AT 70
His cause of death has not been released, but NBC News reports that Barlow had been ill since suffering a heart attack in 2015. The writer penned many of the classic Grateful Dead tunes, including “Cassidy,” “Estimated Prophet,” “The Music Never Stopped” and “I Need a Miracle.” In his honor, Rhino Records created a Spotify playlist featuring many of Barlow’s famous songs.
In addition to songwriting, Barlow was know as an early Internet pioneer and activist for online liberties. He co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1990, which is a nonprofit that works to ensure that free speech and expression is respected and allowed online. “With a broken heart I have to announce that EFF’s founder, visionary, and our ongoing inspiration, John Perry Barlow, passed away quietly in his sleep this morning,” says an announcement by EEF executive Cindy Cohn on their website. “We will miss Barlow and his wisdom for decades to come, and he will always be an integral part of EFF. It is no exaggeration to say that major parts of the Internet we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow’s vision and leadership. He always saw the Internet as a fundamental place of freedom, where voices long silenced can find an audience and people can connect with others regardless of physical distance.”
Tributes to Barlow have flooded the Internet, including one from his Grateful Dead cohort Bob Weir. “This life is fleeting, as we all know – the Muse we serve is not. John had a way of taking life’s most difficult things and framing them as challenges, therefore adventures. He was to be admired for that, even emulated. He’ll live on in the songs we wrote…” he said on Twitter.
This life is fleeting, as we all know – the Muse we serve is not. John had a way of taking life’s most difficult things and framing them as challenges, therefore adventures. He was to be admired for that, even emulated. He’ll live on in the songs we wrote… pic.twitter.com/E29drq80du
— Bob Weir (@BobWeir) February 8, 2018
Grateful Dead successor Dead & Company also posted a note in tribute: “Though John is gone, he will live on in the songs he wrote. ‘Sun went down in honey, and the moon came up in wine, you know the stars were spinning dizzy, Lord the band kept us so busy, we forgot about the time…'”
Though John is gone, he will live on in the songs he wrote.
“Sun went down in honey, and the moon came up in wine, you know the stars were spinning dizzy, Lord the band kept us so busy, we forgot about the time…” https://t.co/zIXeEFhwlE
— Dead & Company (@deadandcompany) February 8, 2018
Many others posted tweets in Barlow’s honor as well, including Danah Boyd, Amir Bar-Lev, Nolan K. Bushnell, Steve Silberman, Warren Ellis and Sean Ono Lenin.
Today the world lost a champion of the internet. I lost an old friend. Memories are rushing back. “Blow the horn, and tap the tambourine; Close the gap of the dark years in between… Fare thee well now.” RIP @JPBarlow pic.twitter.com/tC6pvsdh0J
— danah boyd (@zephoria) February 8, 2018
Sad to report that @JohnPerryBarlow passed away last night in his sleep. Nothing to tell now/ let the words be yours/ I am done with mine.
— Amir Bar-Lev (@amirbarlev) February 7, 2018
The world lost a true hero today, a Renaissance man who was a relentless warrior for our freedom. We will all miss you, @jpbarlow
— Nolan K Bushnell (@NolanBushnell) February 8, 2018
Mourning @jpbarlow. His “Principles of Adult Behavior,” written on Oct. 3, 1977 when he turned 30 (an age he never expected to reach), are as wise a guide to life as I know. Thanks, John. pic.twitter.com/BJ09eFi7LA
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) February 7, 2018
I knew John Perry Barlow from the early days of Twitter, when the place was like a global coffee shop we all staggered into in the mornings. He was never less than kind, funny and warmly human. Good night, John. https://t.co/nmHecKjiwu
— Wᴀʀʀᴇɴ Eʟʟɪs (@warrenellis) February 7, 2018
Nothing made me smile quite so much as being in the presence of this man, John Perry Barlow. People too often use the phrase ‘changed the world,’ but in his case it is undeniably true. From Black Throat Wind to Cyber Space, and so much more. It is with an unbearably heavy heart that we say goodbye to you sir, for now anyway. The friendship you gave to me and so many others will transcend space and time, ‘miles deep and parsecs high.’ The World is a little bit dumber without your magnificent brain. Send our love to all the other legends up there, now that you’ve arrived the party has truly started I’m sure. We’ll meet again some day…