The Grateful Dead, Dick Cheney, Steve Jobs, JFK Jr. and Wyoming

“Dead Heads” everywhere are pumped to see the Dead’s latest setlist from recent shows, as the summer tour for the Dead and Company continues throughout the country. The Grateful Dead has had a resurgence and they’ve made a whole new subset of fans for John Mayer.

Remember a few years ago, when the Dead almost played a show at a ranch in Jackson? Surprisingly, the Grateful Dead has roots in Wyoming. One of their lyricists, John Perry Barlow, grew up and lived most of his life in Pinedale (Obituary).

John Perry was a very unique American. Most people know him for his lyrics, but he had quite a special path throughout his life. Beyond being Bobby Weir’s closest friend. Ironically, John Perry was also very close friends with John F. Kennedy Jr., Senator Al Simpson, Ken Kesey, and Timothy Leary. Before he passed in February of 2018, he published the book: Mother American Night; My Life in Crazy Times.

For any American or Wyomingite, the book resonates well, as it provides a warped perspective of the past 60 years. John Perry grew up on the Bar Cross Ranch in Cora, WY. where he hosted the Grateful Dead on many occasions.

Jackson architect John Carney grew up with Barlow in Pinedale, “You could always count on the most interesting people at Barlow’s ranch … a Buddhist monk, a rock ’n’ roll musician, a president’s son, people are attracted to him.” – Planet JH Article

An interesting fact that the book covers is that John Perry accidentally shot Bob Weir on his wedding night at the ranch (the bullet just grazed him).

He was heavily involved with Wyoming politics. At a time, John was relatively close with Dick Cheney. He commends him on his ability to catch fish and condemns him on a few other things. All in, this man loved Sublette County and everything that Wyoming has to offer.

Eventually, John Perry Barlow became incredibly interested in uprising of the internet and the digital age. He established the Electronic Frontier Foundation to help with the establishment of digital rights and privacy on the internet. Through this part of his life, he met and interacted with the likes of Steve Jobs and Julian Assange.

Wyoming doesn’t have too many legends and John Perry Barlow may not be considered an actual legend, but Mother American Night certainly covers some legendary stories about America and how a boy from Wyoming can make the most of life in it.

Options for Downloading the Book:

A Recent Dead and Company Concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles

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