I confess, I was sure Phil Lesh would be the next to go. But it was their ‘other’ songwriter instead, John Perry Barlow, who died yesterday.
Not a famous man but one who wrote the lyrics to some of the Grateful Dead’s best songs with his childhood buddy, Bob Weir. He was also a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, being a political libertarian, but I’m not 100% sure that was a good thing (although his efforts to increase voter registration certainly were).
Here is a short selection of some of my favourite Weir/Barlow songs: Cassidy, Estimated Prophet, Looks Like Rain, Mexicali Blues, Lost Sailor/Saint Of Circumstance, Throwing Stones, Let It Grow, The Music Never Stopped.
Here’s an item that gf sent me from US radio, made following Barlow’s death but containing a very interesting and clear-sighted interview about cyberspace from 1996, with a significant Dead connection dropped in at the end: