John Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead Lyricist, Has Heart Attack
John Perry Barlow, a poet and political activist who has written lyrics for the Grateful Dead, suffered a heart attack on Wednesday (May 27). He has been disclosing his ordeal on Twitter and Facebook.
“I was dead for about 8 minutes on Wed eve,” he tweeted on Thursday morning. “Total cardiac arrest. Hard to relax & sleep now. And sad to report no Ascending Light.”
Later that afternoon, he wrote three tweets 90 minutes apart thanking his fans for their well-wishes, the last of which included a picture of him sitting up in his hospital bed. Combined, they read, “So much Love! I feel bathed in it from every succulent pore of Space/Time. It's none my business whether or not I deserve it. I accept. (However, while I believe I can feel all that love, deserved or not, I can't receive all those calls for a day or 6. Bless you all!). I have prevailed. Back shortly. Armed and dangerous. Unlike the USA PATRIOT ACT. With any luck.”
The 67-year old Barlow met Bob Weir in high school, and the two of them began working together in 1971 after a falling out the guitarist had with Robert Hunter. Together, Barlow and Weir wrote Dead favorites like “Mexicali Blues,” “I Need a Miracle,” “Hell in a Bucket” and “Throwing Stones.”
In 1990 Barlow co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation after discovering that the federal government was having difficulty grasping the legal aspect of emerging online technologies. The foundation, of which Barlow is still on the Board of Directors, works to defend the civil liberties of computer users.
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