“This Life Is Fleeting,” Weir Says
First and foremost, our hearts go out to Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir as he navigates the passing of his lifelong friend and former writing partner, John Perry Barlow, who died in his sleep yesterday at the age of 70. Their friendship began an entire lifetime ago, mere teenagers – children, really – when fate brought them together, both students at Colorado Springs’ Fountain Valley School. Weir issued an invitation to Barlow to join the Grateful Dead upon its inception and, although he never actually performed with the band, Barlow remained a non-performing lyricist for Grateful Dead for over two decades, beginning in 1971 and ending in 1995.
As news began to circulate, Weir took to Twitter to issue a statement on the death of his friend:
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. He was to be admired for that, even emulated. He’ll live on in the songs we wrote… pic.twitter.com/E29drq80du
— Bob Weir (@BobWeir) February 8, 2018
“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. He was to be admired for that, even emulated. He’ll live on in the songs we wrote…” writes Weir.
Photos of Weir and Barlow throughout the years adorned the post; from photos of the pair as cowboy hat wearing youths with mischief in their eyes, to later shots of Barlow laughing hysterically at something Weir said just as the photograph was taken to finally, a photo of Barlow towards the end of his life – throwing up a peace sign as if to say, “See ya ’round.”
Fans flooded the post with condolences and their own memories of the magic John Perry Barlow made with Bob Weir and Grateful Dead:
My left arm. pic.twitter.com/m3Qev3yesc
— JJ (@twinhook) February 8, 2018
— The Alinker (@TheAlinker) February 8, 2018
RIP. I'd quote lyrics, but everyone knows them. That's the gift he (and you) have given.
Go gentle into that good night. You've raged for the human spirit and we thank you.
— Asher (@rorshach1984) February 8, 2018
You guys made some beautiful music together that shall forever be a part of me. A tip of the hat and a sweeping bow to you John. Thank you.
— Charlie Ide (@vikingshipper) February 8, 2018
So sorry for your loss, Bobby. For all of our loss, his words and mission lives on through the Dead and the EFF. RIP @JPBarlow
— LooksLikeRain (@ca77) February 8, 2018
In addition to his legacy as an activist, Bob Weir’s dear friend, and a champion lyricist, John Perry Barlow is survived by his wife, Elaine, and their three daughters, Amelia Rose, Anna Winter, and Leah Justine. Rest easy, friend.