John Perry Barlow, who co-wrote songs for the Grateful Dead for more than 20 years, died Wednesday.
He was 70.
The Wyoming native met Dead founding member Bob Weir when he was 15. Several years later, in 1971, Weir dumped lyricist Robert Hunter and instead began working with Barlow, who would pen songs including “Looks Like Rain,” “Heaven Help the Fool” and “Cassidy.”
Barlow continued to work with the Grateful Dead until the band dissolved in 1995.
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“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,” Weir tweeted Wednesday. “He was to be admired for that, even emulated. He’ll live on in the songs we wrote.”
In 1990, he co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit digital rights group that “champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism and technology development,” according to the organization.
Barlow is also credited with coining the term “cyberspace.”
“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,” EFF executive director Cindy Cohn said in a statement.
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“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.”
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Barlow’s1977 “Principles of Adult Behavior,” which posited 25 bullet-pointed rules for life including “become less suspicious of joy” and “give up blood sports,” has become widely popular on Reddit.
He is survived by his three daughters, Amelia, Anna and Leah, with ex-wife Elaine.
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