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Herbie Herbert, manager of Journey and Steve Miller Band, dies of natural causes at 73

Herbie Herbert, manager of Journey and Steve Miller Band, dies of natural causes at 73


Rock manager Walter James ‘Herbie’ Herbert II has died at the age of 73.

Herbert, who managed area rock giants Journey for 20 years, died at his home in Orinda, California on Monday, October 25th from natural causes, according to Variety.

Herbert was a protégé of famed music promoter Bill Graham, who he first met as a roadie for Santana.

RIP: Rock manager Walter James ‘Herbie’ Herbert II has died at the age of 73

The self-described hippie from Berkeley, California, cut his teeth managing the psychedelic rock band Frumious Bandersnatch, which included future Journey-men Ross Valory and George Tickner. 

During his time with Santana he met soon-to-be Journey players Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie.

Herbert went on to organize the super-group in 1973, managing the Don’t Stop Believin’ crooners until 1993, when he left over reported personality clash with ex-lead singer Steve Perry.

Herbert criticized the group in a 2017 interview with San Francisco radio station KQED around the time of Journey’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, calling the state of the band ‘a tragedy.’ 

‘It’s all rooted in financial issues, and it’s too bad because it could be the undoing of what is a great business.’

The road to success: Herbert managed area rock giants Journey for 20 years. He was a protégé of famed music promoter Bill Graham, who he first met as a roadie for Santana

The road to success: Herbert managed area rock giants Journey for 20 years. He was a protégé of famed music promoter Bill Graham, who he first met as a roadie for Santana

Diversify: A savvy businessman, Herbert found ways for the band to make money through recording, concert production, and real estate in addition to touring and album sales

Diversify: A savvy businessman, Herbert found ways for the band to make money through recording, concert production, and real estate in addition to touring and album sales

A savvy businessman, Herbert was able to find an array of ways for Journey to make money.

He established their in-house Nightmare Productions to make the records, found a way for the band to capitalize on their real estate holdings, and was the first to book rock acts to play sports half-time gigs.

Herbert also helped usher in a new era of stagecraft with Nocturne Productions, which pioneered the type of stadium-scale light and sound production synonymous with live concerts today.

Herbert also managed the Steve Miller Band and co-managed Swedish groups Roxette and Europe. 

The music impresario started his own career as Sy Kloops in the late 90s.

Other projects: Herbert also managed the Steve Miller Band and co-managed Swedish groups Roxette and Europe (above)

Other projects: Herbert also managed the Steve Miller Band and co-managed Swedish groups Roxette and Europe (above)

The project was a hit, selling out San Francisco’s Fillmore theater with a band that included current and former Journey band members Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Prairie Prince and Ross Valory.

Herbert was also a huge supporter of his local San Francisco Bay Area music scene.

His wife Maya told Variety: ‘He made so many people’s lives and careers truly better, and as a manager, he always made decisions based on what was for the greater good.’ 

Journey’s Schon posted an Instagram tribute that said: ‘I’ll cherish all the incredible times and trials and tribulations we experienced together.’

‘Herbie was an incredible hands-on manager and fought like a motherf**er for all of us every step of the way. I can easily say that without his vision there would have never been many of the innovative things that we shared. I hold the greatest times in my heart forever.’

Herbert is survived by his wife Maya, daughters Seaya and Katherine, brother Robert and sister Katherine.

A documentary about his life is currently in the works. 

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