You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Entertainment News

John Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead Lyricist, Dies at 70

Variety logo Variety 2/7/2018 Ariana Brockington
John Perry Barlow wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Variety

John Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead lyricist and internet pioneer, died on Wednesday. He was 70.

The news was announced by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which Barlow co-founded and promotes freedom of expression in digital media. In a blog post on its website, the foundation’s executive director, Cindy Cohn, wrote that Barlow “passed away quietly in his sleep.”

Barlow co-wrote songs with the Grateful Dead from 1971 until the group disbanded in 1995. Some of tunes he helped pen include “Cassidy,” “Heaven Help the Fool,” “Black-Throated Wind,” “Looks Like Rain,” and “Mexicali Blues.” He also wrote four songs on the band’s 1989 album titled “Built to Last” and an additional song, “We Can Run,” on the 2004 reissue.

In addition to songwriting, Barlow was heavily involved activism for digital freedom. He co-founded the EFF in 1990, and has been credited with first coining the term “cyberspace” in its current definition that same year. He wrote essays about the impact of the internet for multiple publications including Wired and the New York Times, and his 1996 essay “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” has been long circulated across the web.

Born in Wyoming, Barlow graduated from Wesleyan University in 1969. He operated a livestock company in Wyoming before selling it. He was a member of the External Advisory Council of the National Computational Science Alliance and spent time lecturing about the internet, civil rights, freedom of speech, and the EFF.

Barlow is survived by his three daughters.

Related slideshow: Stars we've lost in 2018 (via Photo Services)

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Variety

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon