Barlow: Living Life as a Modern-Day Renaissance Man Focused on Adventure

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Book Reviews  |  Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead  |  Music  |  Artificial Intelligence

I admire people who live a unique life, bouncing around, doing the things that interest them, living by their wits rather than just doing what’s accepted. John Perry Barlow was a unique character indeed, and my friend Brian Halligan is making a movie about Barlow’s life.

Mother American NightThe description of John Perry Barlow’s excellent autobiography Mother American Night: My Life in Crazy Times reads: “Born into a powerful Wyoming political family, John Perry Barlow wrote the lyrics for thirty Grateful Dead songs while also running his family’s cattle ranch. He hung out in Andy Warhol’s Factory, went on a date with the Dalai Lama’s sister, and accidentally shot Bob Weir in the face on the eve of his own wedding. As a favor to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Barlow mentored a young JFK Jr. and the two then became lifelong friends. Despite being a freely self-confessed acidhead, he served as Dick Cheney’s campaign manager during Cheney’s first run for Congress. And after befriending a legendary early group of computer hackers known as the Legion of Doom, Barlow became a renowned internet guru who then cofounded the groundbreaking Electronic Frontier Foundation.”

Brian Halligan is also a unique character, so he is the perfect person to steer this movie forward. Brian, a self-described “Type A Hippie”, co-founded HubSpot, is a Managing Partner at Propeller VC investing in early-stage companies involved in ocean-climate innovation, and my co-author on our book Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead.

Brian says: “Why John Perry Barlow? Well, he's best known as one of the lyricists for the Grateful Dead and as the internet visionary behind the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but he's much more than that. He is a philosopher of life and love. He is a friend (and sometimes foe) of many of our most interesting characters, like Timothy Leary, Andy Warhol, Dick Cheney, John F Kennedy Jr, Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia, Steve Jobs, etc, etc.”

Because of the various Hollywood strikes, the film is taking longer than expected. Brian and the team created an AI generated teaser trailer which uses Barlow’s words and voice as narrator.

I’ve read the book, I've heard the songs many, many times, and now I’m excited for this film!

Here’s to the eccentrics of the world.

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