Grateful Dead lyricist and internet activist John Perry Barlow dead at 70

Activist and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow has died

John Perry Barlow, lyricist for the Grateful Dead an internet pioneer, died on Wednesday February 8.

The EFF announced Barlow's death in a blog post late yesterday, announcing that the organisation would, "continue the work to fulfil his dream". "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".

Barlow co-wrote several songs for the Grateful Dead with Weir, including Mexicali Blues, Black Throated Wind and Bombs Away. Barlow also worked with Dead keyboardists Brent Mydland and Vince Welnick and others, later writing lyrics for The String Cheese Incident's Michael Kang.

Barlow said he had made a decision to try his hand at writing lyrics mostly to attract women.

Barlow, who was born October 3, 1947 in Wyoming, met Weir while in high school in Colorado.

He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1969 and eventually returned to Wyoming, where he ran a cattle ranch for almost two decades and dabbled in libertarian and Republican politics, working on a congressional campaign for Richard B. Cheney, the future vice president in the George W. Bush administration.

He later returned to Wyoming, where he ran the family cattle ranch for almost two decades and dabbled in Republican politics.

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It was as a rancher in the 1980s that Mr. Barlow began exploring the Web's early social networks.

Kapor and Barlow began collaborating after both were sought out by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents trying to investigate computer crimes. In 1990, he co-founded the EFF alongside John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor in an effort to promote Internet civil liberties.

Barlow joined the Grateful Dead as a nonresident lyricist in the early 1970s. "He was to be admired for that, even emulated. You have no sovereignty where we gather", Barlow wrote.

Barlow wrote extensively for various publications about the power of the internet, helping to establish the idea that we need to wrestle with the internet not just as a technological phenomenon, but also as a cultural and political and legal one.

He is survived by his three daughters, Amelia, Anna and Leah, with ex-wife Elaine.

A memoir, Mother American Night: My Life in Crazy Times, which Barlow wrote with Robert Greenfield, is to be published this year.

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